Two of the three whites convicted of murder Ahmoud Arbury has repeatedly used racial insults in text and social media posts, including some harsh Arbury shooter comments about black people, an FBI witness revealed Wednesday in their federal hate crime trial.
Amy Vaughn, an FBI intelligence analyst, conducted the jury through more than two dozen conversations that Travis McMichael and William “Roddy” Brian had with others identified only by their initials, months and years before the 25-year-old black man. murder.
The FBI was unable to access the phone of Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael’s father, because it was encrypted, Vaughan said.
In text and Facebook conversations with friends, Travis McMichael often used the N-word to describe black people.
In a Facebook conversation with a friend, he also shared a video in which a young black boy dances in a TV show with a white song that included the word N.
He also said that black people “spoil everything” and repeatedly said he was glad he was not black using racial swearing.
In many other social media posts, 36-year-old Travis McMichael spoke of violence against blacks and hinted that he himself was prone to ruthless racist violence. He said he didn’t like working with black people.
He claimed to have fired Arbers for self-defense. The jury on Wednesday saw messages on Facebook that McMichael posted, honoring vigilance.
McMichale armed himself and used a pickup truck to chase Arbury, as when he saw him running across their coast Georgia district on February 23, 2020
Brian, 52, a neighbor, joined the chase in his own truck and recorded on his cell phone a video in which Travis McMichael blew up Arbury with a shotgun. There were no arrests until the video appeared online two months later.
All three were convicted of murder in a Georgia state court last fall. Their second trial began Monday in a U.S. district court on charges of hate crimes.
Prosecutors allege that McMichaels and Brian violated Arbery’s civil rights and attacked him because he was black.
Lawyers insist that the deadly pursuit of Arbury was motivated by a serious, albeit erroneous, suspicion that Arbury committed the crimes.
A hate crime trial is being considered by a jury of eight whites, three blacks and one Latin American.
Evidence presented in court on Wednesday showed that Brian also used the word N and other derogatory characteristics of black people.
For a number of years, Brian exchanged racist messages on Martin Luther King Jr. Day mocking the holiday. In reports sent in the days surrounding Arbury’s murder, Brian was upset that his daughter was dating a black man, and he used the epithet to describe him.
Greg McMichael, 66, posted a meme on Facebook in 2016 saying that white Irish slaves were treated worse than any race in the United States, but the Irish did not ask for handouts.
Marcus Arbury, Ahmaud’s father, spoke to reporters in court and said, “I’m not very shocked.”
However, he said he was not aware, “all this hatred was in these three men.”
Defenders did not challenge the racist posts. Both McMichaels and Brian were sentenced to life in prison for the state murder case.
A plea agreement from McMichael that would prevent them from being tried for hate crimes previously rejected.
During the state trial last year, prosecutors did not focus on racial concerns as a motivating factor for the crime. They only sought to prove that the men were to blame for Arbery’s death, for whatever reason.
Arbury’s murder was one of many black men and women, often at the hands of police, that has helped spark protests against racial justice in recent years.
The Federal Court of Arbury Murderers is the first in which those who committed such high-profile murders face jurors in a hate crime trial.