For Immediate Release: November 24, 2021
Contact: Colleen Ross | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-601-7877
Catholic Lobby Responds to Guilty Verdicts for McMichaels and Bryan
Joan F. Neal: “These guilty verdicts show how the criminal legal system can and should work, but are no substitute for Ahmaud Arbery’s life”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William Bryan Jr. were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020 in Georgia’s Satilla Shores neighborhood. Throughout the trial, the presence of people of faith demonstrated their steadfast hope for a just and fair outcome. NETWORK commits to continue working to dismantle white supremacy, transforming our criminal legal system, and ending racist violence in all forms.
Min. Christian S. Watkins, NETWORK Justice Systems Reform Government Relations Advocate, said:
“While this decision holds the McMichaels and William Bryan accountable for their egregious actions, Mr. Arbery’s family is still left without a beloved son. May we remember the witness of Black clergy and the multi-cultural and interfaith community who showed up in solidarity with the Arbery family and share their faithfulness in working for racial justice.
“I appreciate Judge Walmsley for conducting the proceedings with the respect the chamber deserves and look forward to continuing to work on transforming our criminal legal system into a more just one.”
Joan F. Neal, NETWORK Deputy Executive Director, said:
“These guilty verdicts show how the criminal legal system can and should work, but are no substitute for Ahmaud Arbery’s life. Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan Jr. deserve to be held accountable for their actions, which led to the loss of a beloved son, nephew, and friend, but we must stop allowing racist violence to cost us the lives of Black people in this country.”
Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said:
“We continue to pray for Arbery family in their grief and acknowledge that while this legal process worked, there is still much to do to make the criminal legal system fair and equitable for everyone in our communities, in particular our Black, Brown, and Native American siblings.”
NETWORK – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.