CNN’s Bakari Sellers Exalts Verdict in Stirring Commentary: ‘The Day That This Country Needed’
To break down the verdict, Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery in February 2020, was found guilty on all charges, including malice murder, felony murder, and assault. His father Gregory McMichael was found guilty on all charges but malice murder.
The McMichael’s neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, who filmed the fatal confrontation, was found guilty on seven out of nine charges.
“I hate to push back on my colleagues today who are much more brilliant than I am and probably better lawyers than I,” Sellers said following the verdict on Wednesday. “I don’t think today is about justice. I think Ahmaud Arbery being alive is justice.”
Sellers went on to say that the verdict marked something “even more fleeting for Black people,” pointing to “accountability” in trials similar to this one.
“Today is a day just like the Derek Chauvin trial where you have accountability for people who hunt people down, and murder them, and don’t give them the benefit of their humanity,” he said. “The unique thing today is we found out today that lynching is still illegal in the United States of America.”
He noted how hard the trial has been on Arbery’s family and highlighted how difficult it was to even bring charges against Bryan and the McMichaels.
“I believe that today is the day that this country needed. I don’t want to say deserved but needed, Ana, because the fact is, just imagine if we’re sitting here talking about not guilty verdicts. I believe that this country and our democracy is fundamentally fragile and hanging on by a thread,” he said. “And I don’t believe that a not guilty verdict today would have served us well as a country.”
“In fact, going into this holiday weekend, I think it would have torn this country apart,” he continued. “That’s how fragile our democracy is.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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