Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) issued the following statement after the three men on trial in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted on murder charges.
“It is illegal in this country to chase down a man in the middle of the street for no reason and kill him. It is exhausting to have to hope this hard for something that simple to be affirmed in the court of law. I am glad the jury reached the right verdict.
“What happened to Ahmaud was a modern-day lynching. Historically, lynchings are usually associated with violent hangings that happened a long time ago. But it wasn’t always hangings – it was beatings like the murder of Emmett Till. It also wasn’t always a long time ago – Ahmaud was killed less than two years ago.
“Legislation to make lynching a federal crime still hasn’t passed in the Senate. On the rare occasion when someone has been actually charged in one of these cases, the defense blames the victim. They say the person was suspicious, suspected or accused of a crime, justifying an insidious notion that it is perfectly normal for this violence to occur.
“But due to progress in this country, those notions, as they reared their head in this trial yet again, were dispelled. Today we breathe a sigh of relief. My thoughts are with the friends and family of Ahmaud during this time, I wish them healing and comfort.”