Black armed militias rallied outside the Georgia courthouse Monday where three White men are on trial for the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man – and a New Black Panther leader allegedly issued a threat.
“Ya’ll are in serious trouble because the wrath of karma is coming on America,” said a man who identified himself as the supreme commander of the New Black Panther militia. “We’re not taking it no more.”
As prosecutors and defense lawyers delivered their closing statements, dozens of members of BLM 757, Lion of Judah Armed Forces and the New Black Panther Party marched outside the Glynn County Courthouse.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the New Black Panther Party a “virulently racist and antisemitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against Whites, Jews and law enforcement.”
Travis McMichael, 35; his father, Greg McMichael, 65; and William “Roddie” Bryan are on trial for murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment for the slaying of Arbery in Satilla Shores outside Brunswick, Georgia.
The activists carried New Black Panther flags and wheeled a coffin with a dummy corpse on which was written countless names of Blacks who were killed at the hands of Whites – including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, an Instagram video shows.
“We’re standing in solidarity with the family of Ahmaud Arbery and for all those black lives that have been lost,” said one of the rally’s organizers, BLM 757 President Japharii Jones.
“The message is we won’t tolerate Black and Browns being murdered anymore, and we will pull up anywhere in the nation,” he told Fox News.
He said the groups have a shared goal of self defense for Black people.
“Our longterm plan is to arm our entire community with responsible gun ownership,” he said. “We will be holding classes in the future and we will be setting up workshops in all 50 states.”
When asked how the groups would respond to a not-guilty verdict, Jones replied, “No comment.”
In closing statements, prosecutor Lind Dunikoski argued that the defendants pursued Arbery in pickup trucks for five minutes through the neighborhood Feb. 23, 2020, and shot him because he was a Black man who refused to talk to them.
The defense told jurors that the McMichaels suspected Arbery of having committed a crime and were trying to detain him until police arrived.
Travis McMichael opened fire only after Arbery attacked him and grabbed his shotgun, he testified last week.