Kamala Harris denounces “racist” tactics by defense lawyers after guilty verdicts in Arbery case
Vice President Kamala Harris said on Wednesday that the convictions of three men in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery came despite racist tactics used by defense attorneys representing the white defendants.
“These verdicts send an important message, but the fact remains that we still have work to do,” Ms. Harris said in a statement. “The defense lawyer chose to set a tone that characterized the presence of ministers at the trial as intimidation and dehumanized a young black man with racist tropes. The jury arrived at its verdicts despite these tactics.
Defense attorney Kevin Gough has twice called on Judge Timothy Walmsley to remove Rev. Al Sharpton from court, saying the civil rights activist was trying to sway the disproportionate white jury. He also complained that activists outside the courthouse were trying to influence the jury with banners and placards, and also opposed the pastors’ rally.
Ms. Harris said Mr. Arbery, 25, “was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning. We will not forget it. We honor it as best we can by continuing the fight for justice.
“The jury returned its verdicts and the three defendants were found guilty of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Yet we feel the weight of grief, ”said the vice president. “Ahmaud Arbery should be alive, and nothing can take away the pain her mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, father Marcus Arbery and the entire Arbery family and community are feeling today. I share this pain.
• This story is based in part on press service reports.