Statement from In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda WASHINGTON — Today,…
Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President & CEO Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — Today, the three men who hunted and gunned down Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced to life in prison. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement in response:
“Yes, today’s sentencing is a victory, but it is also a reminder of how difficult it can be to find justice for Black families. It took two long months and a video before anyone was arrested for Ahmaud Arbery’s brutal murder. As the facts were revealed, we learned that the father and son team of Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William Bryan, pursued Arbery simply because he was a Black man jogging in their neighborhood.
“The comments made during their trial reminded us that Black people face racist violence every day and everywhere — whether we’re out for a jog or asleep in our beds. We are not safe and the criminal legal system does not protect us but instead, too often inflicts harm, even death, upon us. That racial bias was demonstrated in this case when the police and two district attorneys originally refused to arrest or indict the men.
“We were pleased when the jury found the defendants guilty of state charges of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. But one just outcome does not inspire confidence or trust in a criminal justice system that often rules to the detriment of Black communities. One just outcome does not erase the elements of white supremacy evident in the actions of the police, prosecutors and the defendants, as they all attempted to skirt the law and ignore the murder of Arbery.
“We call on Congress and the Biden administration to aggressively work to stop the white supremacist violence that happens every single day in every Black community across the country. We know that today’s sentences represent only a small step toward justice. We will not rest until justice is colorblind and attainable for all of us.”
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national Reproductive Justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national, regional and state levels in our ongoing fight to secure Reproductive Justice for Black women, femmes, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people and youth. Our strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc., SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice