*A defense attorney in the trial of the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery has sparked outrage after making mention of the victim’s dirty toenails in closing arguments on Monday.
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan face nine charges, which include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment. Lawyers for the McMichaels argue their clients were justified in chasing down Arbery when they saw him on a property that was under construction. The trio allegedly attempted to make a citizen’s arrest and killed Arbery when he resisted their threatening tactics.
We previously reported… Arbery, 25, was called “F–king n—-r” as he lay dying on the pavement after being shot while allegedly jogging through his Georgia neighborhood on February 23, 2020. Prosecutors rested their case over a week ago “after the jury saw graphic photos of the shotgun wounds that punched a gaping hole in Arbury’s chest,” per The Associated Press.
On Monday, Laura Hogue, one of Gregory McMichael’s lawyers, appeared to compare Arbery to a dirty animal during closing arguments and elicited outrage from his family.
“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,” Hogue told jurors. Watch the moment via the clip above.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, left the courtroom after Hogue’s remark, saying “I gotta get out of here.”
“I thought it was very, very rude to talk about his long, dirty toenails and to totally neglect that my son had a huge hole in his chest when he was shot with that shotgun,” she later told CNN.
Cooper-Jones noted that the defense does not “have the proper evidence to get a conviction,” Cooper-Jones said. “So they’re actually going to any measure to get it, to get a conviction, which is not there for them.”
Activist Shawn King shared a clip of the lawyer’s comments on his Facebook page, along with the comment: “This is that disgusting moment attorney Laura Hogue, who represents the men who murdered Ahmaud, says he wasn’t a victim, then begins talking about his “long dirty toenails.” It was so infuriating that Ahmaud’s mother had to get up to leave before she went off on this woman.”
One Facebook user commented under his post: “Make no mistake, her words were intentional! She wants to paint Mr. Arbery as less than human, a nobody! This case is racism at its best, had Ahmaud been any color but Black, he’d be alive today!”
Another chimed in with, “This is the deep south with a jury makeup that does not represent Brunswick Georgia. She knew exactly what she was doing. It is tried and proven to work. History does not repeat, but it rhymes. Trial should have been moved.”
A third added, “Do you know what has long dirty toes? A beast, a wild animal. So what do you do with a wild animal, hunt them and kill them. I think she just dehumanize him. Amazing when it is a black man, they always find the ways to dehumanize. Even when they gang him and murdered him, they are now the victim.”