Ahmaud Arbery: Toes, Dirty Toenails, Barefoot, Video Release

On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man, was fatally shot in Satilla Shores, a neighborhood near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia, United States.

Ahmaud Arbery: Toes, Dirty Toenails, Barefoot, Video Release


A sentence uttered by a defense attorney in the trial of those accused in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery brought an audible gasp from people in the courtroom Monday — and elicited outrage from his family and legal experts.

The defense attorneys for Gregory and Travis McMichael, who are charged with Arbery’s murder, repeatedly have tried to present Arbery as a criminal. On Monday, Laura Hogue, one of Gregory McMichael’s lawyers, went further.

Dirty Toenails:

Arbery was Black. The three defendants, who also include William “Roddie” Bryan, are White and face charges including malice and felony murder in the killing of Arbery after chasing him in a neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23, 2020. They have pleaded not guilty.

“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,” Hogue told jurors.


Ahmaud Arbery: Toes, Dirty Toenails, Barefoot, Video Release

Ahamud Arbery’s mother stormed out of a Georgia courtroom in tears during closing arguments on Monday after a defense attorney told the nearly all-white jury that her son was a criminal with no socks and ‘long, dirty toenails.’

The comment made by Laura Hogue, representing defendant Gregory McMichael, elicited an audible gasp from the audience and the ire of Arbery’s family and supporters.  

Video Release:

Then a graphic video of the shooting surfaced online, spurring widespread outrage.

Within days, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had taken over the case. The video was criticized by celebrities and politicians alike, including President Trump, who called the footage “very, very disturbing,” and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who said Mr. Arbery had essentially been “lynched before our very eyes.”

DateFebruary 23, 2020
LocationSatilla Shores
unincorporated Glynn CountyGeorgia, U.S.
Coordinates31.123871°N 81.556236°W
Filmed byWilliam “Roddie” Bryan
DeathsAhmaud Arbery
AccusedTravis McMichael
Gregory McMichael
William “Roddie” Bryan


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