Vivica A. Fox, Ava Duvernay & More Celebrate Sentencing For Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers

Many celebrities commended the decision, where both McMichaels were given life without parole, saying that justice had been served.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Gregory, Travis McMichael, William Bryan
View gallery
Image Credit: Stephen B Morton/AP/Shutterstock

Ava Duvernay, Vivica Fox, and other stars celebrated that justice had been served for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, after  Gregory McMichaelTravis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. were all sentenced to life in prison. Both of the McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Bryan was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Many stars took to their social media to express how satisfied they were with the sentencing. George Takei wrote that Ahmaud had received justice “at last.” Vivica A. Fox commented that it was “Awesome news” on a post from The Shade Room, sharing the decision. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay simply shared the details of the sentencing from The Associated Press, while quote-tweeting a photo of Ahmaud. Actor Matt Walton also tweeted about how he felt like the judge had made the right decision.”Justice feels exhilarating. Probably because it seems so rare,” he tweeted.

While many commended the sentencing, activist Al Sharpton took to his Twitter to explain how much work went into getting the three killers sentenced, and he showed that persistence can lead to accountability. “The life sentences of the 3 convicted murderers of #AhmaudArbery is not justice, it’s accountability,” he wrote. “When NAN got involved last yr supporting the parents & lawyers, the local DA wouldn’t even arrest the killers. Today’s sentencing shows that results come from sustained movements.” NAACP President Derrick Johnson called the sentencing “an encouraging step forward.” 

Prior to the  sentencing, Judge Timothy Walmsley spoke about how many people were seeking closure through the sentencing, but he explained how difficult it is for those who were affected by the murder to feel closure. “Sentencing does not generally provide closure,” he said. “In this case, I think many people are seeking closure: the mother, the father, the community, and maybe even parts of the nation, but closure is hard to define and is a granular concept.”

The three men were charged with murder for killing Ahmaud Arbery. (Stephen B Morton/AP/Shutterstock)

Rather than closure, the judge said that the sentencing should show that the three men are being held accountable for the murder. “Instead of closure, it would be best to see today’s proceeding as an exercise in accountability,” he said. “Today, the defendants are being held accountable for their actions, here in superior court.”

Gregory, Travis and Roddie had been found guilty of murdering Ahmaud, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man, in February 2020. Travis had been found guilty on all charges in the jury’s verdict, read on November 24. Gregory was found not guilty on a malice murder charge, but he had been found guilty on other charges. Bryan had been found not guilty on one count of felony murder, an aggravated assault charge, as well as one malice murder charge, but he was found guilty on other charges.

All three were sentenced to life in prison. (Stephen B Morton/AP/Shutterstock)

Prior to the sentencing, prosecutors had asked for both McMichaels to receive sentences of life in prison with the possibility of parole, and a life in prison with the possibility of parole sentencing for Bryan, via CNN. The defense had asked for a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole for all three of the killers.

More From Our Partners