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Prosecutor describes use of racial slurs by Arbery killers

Mr. McMichael sued Mr. Arbery, Mr. Balbo said, “not because he was a black man, but because he was the man.”

More than 1,000 people in 43 counties received jury summonses for the federal trial. By Monday morning, the group had been reduced to 12 jurors and four alternates. Of the dozen people selected for the main panel, eight are white, three are black and one is Hispanic. These include a cook, social worker, stay-at-home dad, former cosmetologist and air traffic controller.

In the first murder trial in state court, 11 of 12 jurors were white. Prior to the murder convictions, the racial imbalance had raised questions about whether justice would be served.

The federal jury is charged with determining not whether the men committed murder, but whether they deprived Mr. Arbery of his right to use a public street because he was black. The men are also charged with attempted kidnapping, and the McMichaels are each charged with using a weapon in a violent crime.

Ms Bernstein laid out her case of racial bias for every man. Travis McMichael, she said, had called black people “niggers” many times. Mr. Bryan, she said, had used the word to describe a black man dating his daughter. And Ms Bernstein described a time when Gregory McMichael denounced black people to a work colleague and described his animosity towards the recently deceased civil rights leader Julian Bond.

Mr Bond, Mr McMichael said, “should have been buried years ago. He was just trouble. These blacks are just trouble.

It was difficult to gauge the reactions of the members of the jury to such language because they wore masks. The reactions were more identifiable among some members of Mr. Arbery’s family. Mr Arbery’s aunt, Diane Arbery Jackson, shook her head and left the courtroom as Ms Bernstein read a message Travis McMichael had sent to a friend in response to a video of a black man taunting her a firecracker in the nose.


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