Ahmaud Arbery’s family rejoiced Wednesday following the conviction of three white men for gunning down their loved one, a Black man, as he was running through a Georgia neighborhood last year.
As soon as the first “guilty” verdict was read out loud against Travis McMichael, a cheer erupted and the victim’s father, Marcus Arbery, leapt up to celebrate.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, appeared to be in silent prayer as the verdicts were read. As the first guilty verdict was read, the mother sobbed aloud, “Oh!”
Cooper-Jones’ head sunk into her chest as she wept, with civil rights activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton, holding her hand.
Glynn County Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley briefly halted proceedings to restore order and admonish the audience not to react outwardly again.
As Marcus Arbery was led out of court due to his outburst, the father said: “It’s been a long time coming.”
Ahmaud Arbery’s parents walked out of the courthouse, arms joyfully raised as supporters cheered them and the verdicts.
“Love everybody. All human beings need to be treated equally,” Marcus Arbery said outside the courthouse. “Today is a good day.”
The victim’s aunt, Ruby Arbery, celebrated the convictions of Travis McMichael, 35; his father, Greg McMichael, 65; and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52.
“My heart is pounding with gladness, excitement,” she said. “I’m glad that they got them off the streets so they won’t harm nobody else of color.”
The three men face up to life in prison.
Cooper-Jones admitted she wasn’t always certain this day would come.
“It’s been a long fight, it’s been a hard fight. But God is good,” she told reporters. “To tell you the truth, I never saw this day back in 2020. I never thought this day would come. But God is good. I just wanted to tell everybody thank you, thank you for all those who marched and those who prayed.”
The mother spoke lovingly of her slain son, calling him by his nickname.
“You know him as Ahmaud, I know him as Quez,” she said. “He will now rest in peace.”