Who was Travis McMichael? And why was he convicted of federal hate crimes?

Travis McMichael, 35, who worked in the Coast Guard in the past. Travis McMichael, his father Gregory, and their neighbour William Roddie Bryan were found guilty of violating civil rights and killing Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020 because of his racial colour. On Tuesday, Travis McMichael is convicted of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder and found guilty of federal hate crimes. He was charged with killing a black man in the US state of Georgia last year. Travis McMichael and Ahmaud Arbery had a physical altercation during their fight. He shot Arbery three times in a neighbourhood near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia, the United States, on February 23, 2020.

During his trial, Travis confessed that along with his neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan and his father Gregory, he chased Arbery. He and Arbery had a physical altercation. Mr. McMichael fired his shotgun at Mr. Arbery, claiming that Mr. Arbery had grabbed his gun. He shot him in self-defence. He shot Arbery three times. Mr. Arbery had two gunshot wounds in his chest and a bullet graze wound on the inside of one of his wrists, according to a post-mortem examination.

“I want to give my side of the story,” McMichael stated in court that he wanted to clarify what had occurred from his perspective. He is one of three defendants in this case.  McMichael said his Coast Guard training covered de-escalation techniques and principles around using force when questioned by his attorney.
“In your experience, can point a gun at somebody de-escalate a situation? Jason Sheffield, his defence attorney, inquired.
“Yes,” McMichael responded.
“How so?”


“If you pull a weapon on someone, from what I’ve learned in my training, usually that caused people to back off or to realize what’s happening” and follow commands, according to McMichael. He explained the circumstances leading up to his shooting and killing of Arbery.
Arbery had been breaking into residences in their neighbourhood, according to McMichael’s father. McMichael took his gun got into his truck with his father, Gregory, in the passenger seat. Arbery ran when Travis caught up with him. Travis continues to chase Arbery.
Travis reported watching Arbery running beside a black truck driven by William “Roddie” Bryan, the case’s third co-defendant. After seeing Arbery running toward him, Travis eventually pulled over to the side of the road and parked his truck.

He pulled his shotgun to dissuade Arbery, who ran to the opposite side of the truck. Arbery then began to run back toward the truck, he added. He hurried toward his father, who was seated in the truck because he was afraid Arbery might attack him. That’s when they started fighting.

“He had my gun. He struck me,” As he narrated the shooting, Travis McMichael choked up. “It was obvious that he was attacking me, that if he would’ve got the shotgun from me, then it was a life or death situation. And I’m gonna have to stop him from doing this, so I shot.”

McMichael said that Arbery was overpowering him and had no choice but to use lethal force.

A grand jury indicted Gregory and Travis McMichael and William Bryan in Georgia state court on nine criminal counts, including felony murder, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.  

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