Things That Matter

The Three Men Accused Of Chasing And Shooting Ahmaud Arbery Have Been Indicted On Murder Charges

The death of Ahmaud Arbery helped spur much of the anger and pain that have led to the massive movement for justice and racial equality across the nation. His death, at the hand of three white men who chased him while he jogged, has been on the tips of everyone’s tongues as they shout “Black Lives Matter!”

The 25-year-old Black man was gunned down after a struggle between him and three white men who had accused him of being responsible for a string of burglaries, despite having zero evidence.

The three men implicated in Arbery’s murder have been charged and indicted by a grand jury on nine counts, including felony murder.

The men are facing nine charges, including felony murder.

The three men who have been accused in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was on a jog through his neighborhood, were indicted on Wednesday by a grand jury on nine counts.

Gregory and Travis McMichael, a father and son, as well as William “Roddie” Bryan, were charged in May in the Feb. 23 killing of Arbery. But a grand jury was convened to officially indict the three men.

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced the indictment on nine counts, including malice murder, felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. 

“This is another step forward in seeking justice for Ahmaud. Our team from the Cobb Judicial Circuit has been committed to effectively bringing forward the evidence in this case, and today was no exception,” Holmes said in a statement. 

“We will continue to be intentional in the pursuit of justice for this family and the community at large as the prosecution of this case continues.”

They had already been charged with murder but because of the Coronavirus, they hadn’t officially been indicted.

Credit: Sean Rayford / Getty Images

The Coronavirus pandemic had slowed legal proceedings across the country. A grand jury is required to meet in person and, therefore, they weren’t able to convene until after June 12, once the state lifted stay-at-home measures.

What’s the difference between being charged and indicted?

Prosecutors in the U.S. have a lot of discretion when it comes to deciding on how to proceed with a criminal case. For one, a prosecutor themselves can examine the evidence (usually supplied by police officers) and decide to issues charges against a defendant.

Or they can present the evidence to a grand jury, who will decide if the state can bring charges against the defendant. There is little difference for the person charged with the crime but the process is different.

Arbery’s killing angered the nation and the botched investigation following his murder proved the need for police reform.

Credit: Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Gregory and Travis McMichaels, a father and son, had told police there had been break-ins in the neighborhood and that they began to chase Arbery in their truck when they saw him “hauling ass.”

They heavily armed themselves before hopping in their pickup truck and chasing down Arbery. They confronted him alongside a wooded road and, after a struggle with a shotgun, Arbery was shot by Travis.

No arrests were immediately made in the killing of the young Black man, and outrage intensified when cellphone video of the pursuit and the shooting was publicly released.

And the resulting investigation proved the need for extensive police reforms.

The handling of the case has been marred with conflicts of interest, since one of the men involved is a former investigator for the District Attorney’s office and a former police officer. Several law enforcement officials have had to recuse themselves from the case because of their connections to the McMichael family.

Only after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation stepped in to investigate, were the suspects finally brought in on murder charges. Many, including leading politicians on both sides of the aisle, issued harsh statements condemning the manner in which Arbery’s murder was being handled.

Despite the frustration, Arbery’s family has held strong and has remained committed to making sure that his killers are held accountable for their actions, and that justice is served.

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People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

Things That Matter

People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

@KRISTENCLARKEJD / TWITTER

Cities across the U.S. are seeing a new wave of unrest following the grand jury’s finding on the Breonna Taylor case. Emotions are high as people protest against the lack of charges against the officers who were involved in Taylor’s death.

Protesters are raising their voices after the decision not to charge all of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death.

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed on March 13 when police raided her apartment. The 26-year-old ER technician was sleeping when the police executed a “no-knock” warrant. However, police had the wrong address and Taylor’s boyfriend, believe their lives were in danger, fired at the police. Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment that night.

Major cities across the country saw major demonstrations spurred by the anger against the justice system.

A grand jury found one officer responsible for wanton endangerment after firing his weapon into neighboring apartments. There were no charges tied directly to Taylor’s death. The lack of charges has angered activists and advocates who are seeking significant police reform to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

People have become hyper-aware of the issue and are paying attention to the outcomes.

Protest signs in different crowds show that the American people are paying attention. The Black Lives Matter movement became the cause at the forefront of American mentality since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death sparked national outrage and renewed energy into fighting to stop the disproportionate violence Black men, women, and children face at the hands of police.

Some motorists have turned violent against the protesters.

Video captured in both Denver and Los Angeles show vehicles driving through crowds of protesters. In Denver, the driver claims to have acted in self-defense after protesters surrounded his car. The driver claims that he did not intend to hurt anyone but reacted when protesters shattered his windshield.

In Louisville, police arrested the only Black woman in the Kentucky state legislature for protesting.

State Rep. Attica Scott was arrested for first-degree rioting, which is a class-D felony. The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department arrested 24 people Thursday night while protesting the decision not to charge the officers. Rep. Scott was arrested with other and charged with first-degree rioting and two misdemeanors for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

“Our call to action is to continue to make sure that the city of Louisville understands that we will not go away, that we will continue to demand the defunding of police and the dismantling of this police department because it’s corrupt from the inside out, from the bottom to the top,” Scott told NPR before the grand jury decision. “And it cannot continue to function in the way that it does.”

Taylor’s death has mobilized the nation with celebrities and politicians calling for justice.

The fight for racial justice and a systemic change to our justice and policing systems is ongoing. The people are tired of being scared and are taking a stand with their protests.

If you are out there protesting, send us your videos and photos so we can see your activism in action!

READ: Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

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An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

Things That Matter

An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

@goldenstef / Twitter

We are rarely more defensive than we are for our abuelos. The viejitos have always been there for us and seeing them treated unkindly is just heartbreaking. That is what one Twitter user experienced after her abuelo got a wretched note about his decorations outside his home.

This is the horrid letter left for @goldenstef’s abuelo by undesirable neighbors.

The letter, which is filled with misspelled words, calls the abuelo’s house an example of a “low class Mexican family.” The letter was written anonymously by neighbors and delivered to the abuelo in an attempt to shame him into changing his decorations. One of the most bizarre moments in the letter is when the angry author criticized the homeowner for having too many American flags claiming he isn’t patriotic and can’t fool the neighbors. Like, which one is it people?

The Twitter user followed up with photos of the house to show the decorations their abuelo has out front.

People flooded the Twitter post with comments supporting and sending love to the abuelo. Fellow Latinos are ready to stand with the abuelo and some just want the names of the people behind the letter so they can talk to them. Some people are stunned at how far the author was willing to go out of their way to be mean to an old man who just wants to decorate his home and front yard.

Latino Twitter wants to come together to let the abuelo know that his decorations are adorbs.

We need to come together to give her abuelo all of the wonderful decoration we love. Let’s turn his house and front yard into a showcase of all of the greatness that Latin America has to offer.

People are falling in love with this viejitos yard.

Honestly, this is a great yard. Who wouldn’t want a yard like this? This yard is original and adorable and worth all of the praise that we can muster. Thank you to people like this for making their yards something unique and worth seeing.

@goldenstef wants everyone to know just how much they appreciate the sweet messages about their abuelo’s yard.

It costs nothing to be kind. It is even better when you can be kind about something someone clearly cares so much about. Who cares if someone decorates their lawn a little too much. At least they are having fun with their lives and that is something we all need more of right now.

READ: Latinas Are Sharing Their Most Treasured Memories Of Their Abuelos And It’s Exactly What We Needed This Month

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