2:37 PM PST, November 23, 2021
As America awaits a verdict in the trial of the three white men accused of killing Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, a lawyer for the defense is facing backlash for a comment about Arbery’s appearance that prompted gasps in the courtroom and provoked widespread outrage.
It happened when Laura Hogue, one of Gregory McMichael’s lawyers, made the following comment during closing arguments: “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.”
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, stormed out of the courtroom after the remark. Today, she’s denouncing the comments.
“It was very, very disturbing. 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 where he was shot with that shotgun,” Cooper-Jones said on CNN.
Others speaking out against comments are Gayle King and Whoopi Goldberg.
“It was so cruel and so inappropriate and really irrelevant to what is happening in this case,” King said on “CBS This Morning.”
“That’s what people used to do when I was a kid when they were trying to disparage Black people. They’d always talk about how we were ‘dirty,’” Goldberg said.
The father and son and their neighbor who say they tried to make a citizen’s arrest of Arbery are putting up a self-defense claim, like Kyle Rittenhouse.
The case went to the jury on Tuesday.