Ahmaud Arbery’s Mother Reacts To Guilty Verdicts In Trial Of Her Son’s Murderers

Photo: Facebook
Ahmaud Arbery, Wanda Cooper-Jones

Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, looked stunned as a judge declared her son's murders guilty in a trial that has brought long-overdue justice.

She appeared to mouth a prayer in the courtroom, just moments before the first verdict was read out.

For over a year she has led a movement to seek justice for her son and while today's verdict — and the possible life sentences all three murderers face — is certainly a moment to celebrate, her reaction in court is proof that even after justice is served a family is still grieving an irreplacable loss. 

Ahmaud Arbery's mother and father reacted to the guilty verdicts.

As the first guilty verdict was read aloud, Cooper-Jones sobbed aloud and appeared to say "Oh!"

She lowered her head into her chest and wept while civil rights activist, Rev. Al Sharpton, gripped her hand. 

RELATED: Defense Lawyers In Ahmaud Arbery's Murder Trial Are Relying On Racial Profiling And Microaggressions

Arbery's father Marcus Arbery jumped up and cheered before Sheriff's deputies quickly came over and told him he had to leave the courtroom.

"It's been a long time coming," Marcus Arbery said, and left.

Wanda Cooper-Jones spoke outside the court.

"It's been a long fight, it's been a hard fight," she said, "But God is good."

Cooper-Jones hinted at fears that justice would never be served, a fear many Black families who have lost their son's to racially-motivated crimes can relate to.

"I never saw this day back in 2020, I never thought this day would come," she said. 

"Thank you to those who marched and those who prayed," she continued before referring to her son by his nickname, Quez, "He will now rest in peace."

On February 23, 2020 Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and fatally shot while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia. 

This past month, as the three white men accused in his death face trial, his mother has put her life on hold to seek justice for her son.

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother quit her job to attend the trial. 

Cooper-Jones’s tireless efforts to bring her son’s accused murderers to justice has come at great personal expense. 

RELATED: Travis McMichael Admits Ahmaud Arbery Never Threatened Him After Calling Shooting A ‘Life Or Death’ Situation

In the midst of enormous grief over the loss of her son, Cooper-Jones has successfully pushed for Georgia to pass a hate crime bill, she even met with former-president Donald Trump to discuss police reform.

While racial justice groups have used her son’s name to fundraise for their noble efforts, Cooper-Jones has received minimal compensation.

Because her son was killed by ordinary citizens, albeit bigotted citizens who confused a Black man jogging in a predominantly white neighborhood for a potential burglar, Cooper-Jones has not received the kind of settlements that families of people killed by police receive.

She left her job to attend the jury selection and has rented a home near the courtroom to be part of the month-long trial. 

All this means that, on top of the grief and trauma that has come with losing her son in what many have claimed is a racially-motivated crime, Cooper-Jones has spent the duration of the trial without an income or a means to support herself.

A GoFundMe for Ahmaud Arbery’s mother is raising funds.

The fundraiser has already reached its $100,000 goal and the funds are going directly to Cooper-Jones to be used at her discretion.

But necessary donations are still being raised for Cooper-Jones.

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Ahmaud Arbery's killers were found guilty on several charges.

The three defendants are Gregory McMichael, 65, a retired police officer, his son, Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52 were found guilty on felony murder charges among other verdicts.

The McMichaels armed themselves with guns and pursued Arbery in their truck, bearing a vanity plate of a Confederate flag, while Bryan used his vehicle to block Arbery’s path.

Bryan recorded a cellphone video of the confrontation that partly caught Travis McMichael shooting Arbery during a struggle, which McMicheal will likely claim was an attempted citizen's arrest.

Bryan also allegedly heard Travis McMichael use a racial slur while Arbery lay dying in the street. 

RELATED: It's Not Black People's Job To Solve Racism

Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.