Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ahmaud Arbery

I haven't paid close attention to this story, so I could be mistaken, but here's my opinion at this point:

1. Thanks to Steve for sending along what I think is a helpful analysis. I agree with what Laurie Higgins says here.

2. Many people are alleging it's racism (it seems) primarily because it took such a long time to investigate, bring charges, and make arrests. However, I don't know that's necessarily the case. For example, I've read the father was an ex-cop. If so, then that might be the main reason it took such a long time, i.e., the blue wall of silence. This in turn could imply corruption among the police, but not necessarily racism.

3. Of course, it's possible it could have been both racism and the blue wall. However, at least from what I've read, I don't see anything that points to racism as the main or sole motivation. Other than the fact that Arbery happens to be black and this happened in Georgia where there are supposedly a lot of racists. At best, wouldn't that just be circumstantial and guilt by association?

4. I'm no lawyer, so what do I know, but I guess the McMichaels' best defense is they were attempting to make a citizen's arrest in light of witnessing Arbery come to a home (under construction) multiple times in the past, Arbery grabbed hold of their gun, there was a struggle, then they either shot their gun in self-defense or it accidentally went off during the struggle.

I doubt this would hold up. It looks like they were chasing down a man and picking a fight. They could have been acting like vigilantes. As far as I know, Arbery wasn't actively committing a crime when the McMichaels' approached him. Maybe the McMichaels thought they had reasonable cause that Arbery had committed crimes in the past, but even if so Arbery's crime would have been trespassing, but does that justify a citizen's arrest? Or why not just call the actual cops in that case? And Arbery could have been scared for his life and acting in self-defense too.

1 comment:

  1. If reasonable suspicion that Arbery was up to no good, plus recklessness on behalf of the McMichaels, can explain the McMichaels's actions, then there's no need to appeal to racism. If, however, there was no reasonable suspicion of Arbery, then a racial motivation can bridge that gap.