Dallas airport police officer charged with murder

Image copyright Yahoo Image caption The police entrance to the Dallas County courtroom. There is widespread skepticism among black leaders and people of faith that the conviction will stand, with one Black Lives Matter…

Dallas airport police officer charged with murder

Image copyright Yahoo Image caption The police entrance to the Dallas County courtroom.

There is widespread skepticism among black leaders and people of faith that the conviction will stand, with one Black Lives Matter activist urging people to be “prayerful”.

Shortly after closing arguments began, a group of activists descended on the courthouse, chanting: “#NotMyPresident, #NoBailForAhmadArbery, stay focused”.

Witnesses say there were several arrests made during the protests.

Separately, members of the 3rd Judicial District Grand Jury have been releasing a statement describing their verdict.

They say they believed that “no other evidence, no other witnesses, and no other just cause exists”.

They say they have concluded that “credible information was submitted to the court by Ahmard Arbery’s defence attorney by way of a mandatory stipulation [of what evidence was admitted]”.

The text, which has been translated from French into English by the Dallas Morning News, is not published by Dallas police or the DA’s office, it was independently sent to them by one of the jurors, who asked for the comments to remain private.

The text explains that the three jurors started discussing the case around 10 or 11 in the morning.

They say that as the judge went through the transcript of the trial, “we carefully weighed the information presented to us”.

“We then took that information, individually and collectively, and decided to come to our own conclusions based on all of the evidence we reviewed.”

The jury criticised attorneys for indicting on a felony and a misdemeanor, saying the “sentences do not relate to the seriousness of the crimes alleged”.

The jury also said they did not believe the witnesses called by the prosecution.

A decision from the judge, reading the foreman’s comments aloud, reveals that the jury felt the verdict was difficult to reach.

Ms Colvin told reporters: “It was very emotional for those three jurors, and I do understand that.”

President of the White Quraysh Christian Association, and former Sheriff Chris Simcoe, said that the decision had “been tainted”.

Black Lives Matter USA posted a statement on their official Twitter account: “The pressure must remain on #AhmanArbery #BlackLivesMatter is doing the heavy lifting right now.”

Earlier, Ms Colvin added: “I knew he had too much clout, too much potential power in the movement. How can anyone deny that?

“I’ve got to put my finger on this – the resistance is happening for all of the people.”

Unidentified protesters gathered outside the prison holding Ahmed Arbery’s mother in a makeshift bed. There were a number of protesters outside the family home in Mesquite, Dallas County, who waved a sign showing Ms Colvin’s face, with the message: “not a rioter, just a mother.”

Ms Colvin said she has been under a death threat since his arrest and said he was “one of the strongest black men in America”.

Image copyright WaPo Image caption Mr Arbery faces prison time if he is found guilty

For Mohammed Aden Awadh, the trial was “to see if someone can stand up and say these things are wrong”.

During the trial, prosecutors called several witnesses who said the defendant assaulted them.

However, Mr Arbery’s attorney Melinda Howard argued that the witnesses “appear to be out to make a living, and it seems that money is getting to them and money is making them ineffective”.

Lawyers for Mr Arbery have asked the Dallas County Criminal Court for a bond to be set. He has been jailed since May 2017.

The case has polarised the community and generated controversy over police “pre-trial publicity”.

Ahmad Arbery was one of three suspects who were arrested following a traffic stop in a predominantly black neighbourhood in Pleasant Grove.

The second defendant, Nakia Collins, died during a confrontation with police.

Police have been criticised over their handling of the case, and a civil rights lawsuit has been filed against the city of Dallas.

The third person in the squad car, Omar Mendoza, was acquitted of aggravated assault on a police officer, injury to a police officer and assaulting a police officer in December.

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