Accountability

Brunswick, Ga., protesters demanding justice for Ahmaud Arbery on his birthday in 2020.

The justice system worked in the Ahmaud Arbery case because it was forced and pushed to do its job.

There is very little to be satisfied with when two district attorneys, Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill, worked with one of the suspects on a daily basis and prevented the police from doing their job. Johnson, now a former DA, has been charged with breaking her oath, but for 74 days the entire Glynn County prosecutors’ office was not executing its responsibilities.

Three murderers were allowed to walk around free and brag about their actions. The system only worked because thousands of protesters, truth tellers and national activists pushed it to expose the truth. There also was a leaked video that propelled the county to take action.

In a fair system, three killers would be charged immediately and the district attorney would not be allowed to investigate a case where they had worked with the accused on a daily basis.

When we think of justice in America, this case was an example of why the system is broken and flawed, and must be reformed. Instead of working to expose the truth, the first two district attorneys on the case were fighting to protect their friends and hide the evidence.

In America, every year there are hundreds of cases where police and local citizens are not charged because they are white or members of law enforcement, and the persons they kill are Black. Many of these murders are modern-day lynchings and the evidence is swept under the rug.

As pressure mounted from across the country, three men were charged with Arbery's murder and ultimately convicted. Even though many around the country are calling this trial a victory for justice, with a different judge the killers could have gotten off.

It is very difficult to consider this trial a win for the justice system. This trial was a win for accountability and it exposed corruption in the judicial system. Racism is alive and there is a need for more organizations to fight corruption all across America.

Roger Caldwell is an author, documentarian and weekly contributor to the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the Black Press of America trade group.

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