Federal prosecutors told a Georgia court Monday (February 14) that one of the men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 has a history of using racial slurs.
Just four days before William "Roddie" Bryan joined his neighbors, Travis and Gregory McMichael in chasing Arbery around a Brunswick neighborhood, prosecutors say he used a racial slur to describe the Black man his daughter was dating at the time.
"She's dating a [N-word] now," Bryan wrote in a text, prosecutors said, noting that Bryan repeatedly called the Black man the N-word in the messages and also described him as a monkey.
The revelation came to light as one of several examples of Bryan's use of racial slurs before the February 23, 2020 murder of the 25-year-old who had been out jogging.
Bryan, along with the McMichaels were convicted on state murder charges and sentenced to life in prison. Now, in a federal hate crime trial, prosecutors are arguing the three men targeted Ahmaud because of his race.
During opening statements, Assistant US Attorney Bobbi Bernstein revealed texts Travis McMichael –– who pulled the trigger, killing Arbery –– sent to a friend in which he called Black people, "animals, criminals, monkeys, sub-human savages."
"Zero [N-words] work with me," Travis wrote in the message. "They ruined everything. That's why I love what I do now. Not an [N-word] in sight."
After the death of civil rights leader Julian Bond in 2015, a witness says Gregory McMichael said, "I wish he'd been put in the ground years ago. He's nothing but trouble. Those Blacks are nothing but trouble." McMichael was an investigator with the DA's office when he made the remarks.
That witness is scheduled to testify at the trial.
"It's not illegal to use racial slurs," Bernstein told jurors. "But these slurs can provide you with evidence as to why a defendant did what he did."
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