Last February in Glynn County, Georgia, Ahmaud Arbery—an unarmed Black man in his 20s—was jogging in his community when he was chased by three armed white residents in a motor vehicle.
Claiming they believed Arbery to be an intruder, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan stalked Arbery in their vehicles, terrorizing and eventually gunning him down as he tried to defend himself.
The McMichaels and Bryan weren't arrested until three months after they shot Arbery—when video of the killing went viral and prompted national outcry.
This past week, attorneys in the men's murder trial delivered closing arguments, marking the near-conclusion of a trial peppered with incendiary remarks from the defense.
One attorney for the McMichaels, Kevin Gough, made comments that Judge Timothy Walmsley described as "reprehensible." Gough had equated the presence of Black pastors consoling the Arbery family to jury intimidation on par with hypothetical people "dressed like Colonel Sanders with white masks."
The defense's latest effort to dehumanize Arbery is once again gaining national backlash for a bizarre remark made by Gregory McMichael's lawyer, Laura Hogue.
During closing arguments on Monday, an attorney for Greg McMichael raised eyebrows by making a comment about #AhmaudArbery “in his khaki shorts, with no socks, to cover his long dirty toenails." @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/2ezGRpp2dN
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) November 22, 2021
Blaming Arbery for his own murder, Hogue said:
"Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails."
The comment elicited a gasp from viewers.
That shock carried over to social media.
cool cool cool i need to make sure i do a pedicure the right way before i walk through certain neighborhoods now or ill get shot for being black. cool very cool. https://t.co/SH2ayjH1bo
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 22, 2021
If you're ever charged with a serious crime, you should get yourself a good lawyer who can competently argue in your defense. Instead of whatever the hell is going on here. https://t.co/tXhIKhugWd
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) November 23, 2021
Defense counsel argued #AhmadArbery deserved to die because he jogged with “khaki shorts & no socks to cover up his LONG, DIRTY TOENAILS."
This is POST-MORTEM CHARACTER ASSASSINATION,a classic after-lynching tactic of blaming victims for their own deaths.pic.twitter.com/7cX16AlA7C
— Cornell William Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) November 23, 2021
This is shameful! Enraging! Disgusting https://t.co/iZhsyEJpFm
— So_a_king 🤌🏿 (@solomonmissouri) November 22, 2021
Ummm?!? WTAF is she thinking? pic.twitter.com/fLn5QVTZHg
— Kathy Koers (@KathyKoers) November 22, 2021
I'd say this is unbelievable, but we just watched the Kyle Rittenhouse trial so at this point nothing is surprising.#AhmaudArberyTrial https://t.co/4CAOm37OPN
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) November 22, 2021
Hogue's effort to criminalize Arbery by painting him as "dirty" was called out for racism.
The nerve to say this in front of the family. The racism and disrespect is evident. Her name is Laura Hogue. https://t.co/QYReDK5vW6
— Christian Martin (@chris_t1an_) November 23, 2021
This is a racist trope. Full stop. https://t.co/gSapdLDldX
— Nicole Carr (@NicoleFCarr) November 22, 2021
WTF is this.
These defense attorneys seem to believe that going full blown racist is somehow gonna appeal to the jury and they better be wrong. https://t.co/XY1RcY0R3s
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) November 22, 2021
The jury will soon begin deliberations.