Ahmaud Arbery death: Three white men found guilty of murdering black jogger

This video contains distressing images

A video of Ahmed Arbery, a black man, being shot by three white men caused outrage in the US.

The graphic video, shown in this video report by ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports, was played in court.

All three white men charged over the death of Ahmaud Arbery have been convicted of the black jogger's murder. The jury reached its decision following a trial in which prosecutors argued that the defendants provoked a confrontation with Mr Arbery and defence attorneys said their clients were acting in self-defence.

The convictions for Greg McMichael, son Travis McMichael and neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan came after jurors, who were disproportionately white, deliberated for about 10 hours.

The three men face minimum sentences of life in prison.

It is up to the judge to decide whether that comes with or without the possibility of parole.

From left, Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan, and Gregory McMichael during their trial at at the Glynn County Courthouse. Credit: AP

Mr Arbery was killed on February 23 last year when a white father and son armed themselves and pursued him after spotting the 25-year-old black man running in their neighbourhood.

Their neighbour, 50-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan joined the pursuit in his own pick-up and recorded phone video of Travis McMichael fatally shooting Mr Arbery.

More than two months passed before authorities arrested Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.

The arrests only came after the video was posted online by Bryan as he thought it would be good for their cause and the video was the strongest element of the prosecution's case.

The video shows Mr Arbery run around the truck to the right before he cuts back in front of it. Then a gunshot can be heard, followed by a second shot.

Mr Arbery can be seen punching a man holding what appears to be a shotgun, who then fires a third shot point-blank. Mr Arbery staggers and falls face down in the street.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, thanked the crowd gathered for the verdict and said she did not think she would see this day. Credit: AP

Moments after the verdicts were announced on Wednesday, Mr Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr, was seen crying and hugging supporters outside the courtroom.

“He didn’t do nothing,” Mr Arbery said, “but run and dream.”

Ben Crump, the lawyer for Mr Arbery’s father, spoke outside the courthouse, saying repeatedly: “The spirit of Ahmaud defeated the lynch mob.”

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery is hugged by his attorney Benjamin Crump. Credit: AP

The victim's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, thanked the crowd gathered for the verdict and said she did not think she would see this day. “It’s been a long fight. It’s been a hard fight. But God is good,” she said. Of her son, she said: “He will now rest in peace.”

"He will now rest in peace," Mr Arbery's mother reacts outside court after three men were found guilty of his murder

Speaking outside court, civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton said the family were relieved and welcomed by the verdict.

"Let the word go forth all over the world that a jury of 11 whites and one Black in the Deep South stood up in the courtroom and said that Black lives do matter," Rev Sharpton said.

Civil rights leader Rev Sharpton praised the jury made up of 11 white jurors and one black juror for sending out the message "that Black lives do matter"

Though prosecutors did not argue that racism motivated the killing, federal authorities have charged them with hate crimes, alleging that the men chased and killed Mr Arbery because he was black.

That case is scheduled to go to trial in February.

The McMichaels told police they suspected Mr Arbery was a fleeing burglar when they armed themselves and jumped in a pick-up truck to chase him.

On the 911 call the jury reviewed, Greg McMichael tells an operator: “I’m out here in Satilla Shores. There’s a black male running down the street.”

Defence attorneys argue the McMichaels were attempting a legal citizen’s arrest when they set off after Mr Arbery, seeking to detain and question him as a suspected burglar after he was seen running from a nearby home under construction.

Travis McMichael testified that he shot Mr Arbery in self-defence, saying the running man turned and attacked with his fists while running past the idling truck where Travis McMichael stood with his shotgun.