Three white men jailed for life for chasing and murdering Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery

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 in November, was played in court.

Three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was out for a job in Georgia have been sentenced to life in prison.

Armed with guns, father and son, Greg and Travis McMichael chased Mr Arbery in a pick-up truck after spotting him running in their neighbourhood outside the port city of Brunswick.

Neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan joined the father and son and recorded a video of Travis McMichael shooting Mr Arbery.

All three men were convicted by a jury in November of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and attempted false imprisonment.

In Georgia, murder carries a mandatory life sentence.

The judge ordered both McMichaels, 66 and 35, to serve life without parole. Bryan, 52, was granted a chance of parole but must serve at least 30 years in prison.

Greg McMichael will never be freed Credit: Stephen B. Morton/AP

Video of the killing on February 23, 2020, sparked outrage across the country.

During sentencing, Mr Arbery’s sister Jasmine Arbery recalled her brother's humour and described him as a positive thinker with a big personality.

She said her brother had dark skin “that glistened in the sunlight”, thick, curly hair and an athletic build, factors that made him a target to the men.

She said: “These are the qualities that made these men assume that Ahmaud was a dangerous criminal and chase him with guns drawn.

"To me, those qualities reflect a young man full of life and energy who looked like me and the people I loved."

Ahmaud Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery leaves the podium after giving a victim impact statement Credit: Stephen B. Morton/AP

Mr Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones asked for the maximum sentence, saying the loss of her son was made worse by the men’s defence that Mr Arbery made bad choices that led to his death.

She said: “This wasn’t a case of mistaken identity or mistaken fact. They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community.

"They chose to treat him differently than other people who frequently visited their community.

“And when they couldn’t sufficiently scare or intimidate him, they killed him.”

Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones reacts as Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley sentences the three men. Credit: AP/Stephen B. Morton

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said all three defendants deserved the mandatory life sentence for showing “no empathy for the trapped and terrified Ahmaud Arbery”.

She asked the judge for life without parole for Travis and Greg McMichael and the possibility of parole for Bryan.

Ms Dunikoski said the McMichaels did not believe they did anything wrong, pointing out that Greg McMichael gave Bryan’s mobile phone video to an attorney, who leaked it.

She said: “He believed it was going to exonerate him."

Robert Rubin, a defence attorney, argued that Travis McMichael opened fire only after “Mr Arbery came at him and grabbed the gun”.

But Mr Rubin also acknowledged his client’s decision to arm himself and chase Mr Arbery were “reckless” and “thoughtless”.

He said: "They are not evidence of a soul so blackened as to deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison.

“This was not a planned murder. This was a fight over a gun that led to Mr Arbery’s death.”