Local activists speak out following Ahmaud Arbery verdict


WAYNESBORO, G.A. (WJBF) – The verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery case has people here in the C.S.R.A voicing their opinions. Now one local activist is speaking up following this 20-month-old case.

As the judge in the Ahmaud Arbery case reads verdicts to the three men on trial for his murder, those words were heard right here in the C.S.R.A.

“I feel that justice has been served,” said local activist Ray Montana.

The three men- Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.- first accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man gunned down while jogging, are now all facing life in prison.

“I thank God that they were found guilty, I about stomped a hole in my floor when I heard the verdict,” said Montana.

Ray Montana is a local activist and had been following this case since the beginning. While he is pleased with the verdict, he has some concerns when it comes to sentencing.

“Because Georgia has a first offenders act and underneath the first offenders act, it’s up to 10 years, they might serve 10 years and come home, they need to serve their life,” he said.

Days leading up to the verdict there were reports of Atlanta police on standby in case any violence erupted as a result of the jury’s decision.

“Imagine if they didn’t convict those gentlemen. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, it’s a whole story about the Thanksgiving, where Thanksgiving came from and everything, if they didn’t convict those people it would be havoc in our streets, not just in Brunswick, but Augusta, Savannah, Atlanta,” said Montana.

During the George Floyd case which caught national attention just like Arbery’s case, Montana organized several peaceful Black Lives Matter Protests.

“We had zero tolerance of any disturbance or any tearing up of any property and that’s where we want to stand. We don’t want to tear up these people property, they insured, they’re going to get more money and build it bigger and better, and we still wouldn’t have no justice served,” said Montana.

But he says Arbery’s verdict is setting the standard for change here in Augusta.

“We’re going to come together and make sure justice is served. We’re going to apply pressure until it’s served, and even in our city we even have a case going on now with police officers with an assumption of killing an individual here, so we’re applying pressure even on that,” he said.

Montana says he’s looking to contact those same attorneys who worked with the Arbery’s family to come to Augusta to help with cases here.

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