Gregory McMichael, a former prosecutorial investigator and the father of the man who shot Arbery, allegedly wished the late Georgia state representative and civil rights leader Julien Bond dead sooner. “I wish that guy had been in the ground years ago,” he reportedly told a New York real estate agent, according to testimony News 4 Jax covered. “All those Blacks are nothing but trouble and I wish they’d all die.”
McMichael was apparently as unprofessional as he was vile. He was working in the local prosecutor’s office at the time and was responsible for driving the realtor, Carole Sears, and her daughter to and from the airport when he made the remarks. Sears and her daughter traveled to Brunswick, Georgia, where McMichael lives, for a court hearing of a man convicted of killing Sears' husband in a drunk driving crash, News 4 Jax reported of Sears’ testimony.
“I didn’t say a word,” she said. “I was a little afraid. I had never heard anybody speak that way, before or since.”
Kim Ballesteros, whose husband lived across the street from Gregory McMichael when they both worked as landlords, testified on Friday that Gregory mocked a Black woman he rented to, calling her a "walrus" and even turning off her air conditioner during a summer in which she was late paying rent.
“I was surprised,” Ballesteros said. “It was racist and uncomfortable, and I was frankly disappointed.”
Gregory's son, Travis—the proverbial apple who didn't fall far from the tree—also called Kristie Ronquille "an N-word lover," according to testimony from Ronquille. She served under Travis in the U.S. Coast Guard about a decade ago. Ronquille testified on Friday, according to News 4 Jax, that Travis learned she had been “sexually active with an African American man,” and when Travis said the racist remarks, Ronquille said it was “infuriating and disrespectful.”
In Arbery’s death, the McMichaels were each charged with one count of interference with rights and one count of attempted kidnapping, according to an announcement of their federal indictment.
Officials stated in a news release: “Counts One and Two of the indictment allege that the defendants used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race.”
William "Roddie" Bryan, who recorded Travis shooting Arbery, was also charged in the indictment and shown in court to have made racist remarks on social media, according to testimony ABC News covered from FBI analyst Amy Vaughn on Wednesday. Vaughn said she found the posts by both Gregory McMichael and Bryan. In Bryan’s post, he reportedly wrote: "The gun in the hand is worth more than the entire police force on the phone."
Vaughn also described online posts Bryan allegedly wrote in frustration about his daughter dating a Black man. "This is the only thing I said I would never accept," Bryan reportedly wrote, adding: "If she doesn’t give a f--- about herself, why should we?"
A jury is prepared to hear closing statements regarding Arbery's killers on Monday, ABC News reported. Their reported statements hardly left any room for subjectivity regarding how the McMichaels and Bryan felt about Black people.
But sometimes racism isn’t as overt. Sometimes it rears its ugly head in the form of a joke or treatment that you can only suspect would be different, and less harsh, if the subject were white.
Allegations of those kind of subtleties presented frequently in the cases of former Minneapolis police officers accused in the death of George Floyd.
Biracial ex-cop J. Alexander Kueng, whose mother is white and father is Black, laughed at a joke Chauvin made while murdering Floyd. Prosecutor Manda Sertich cited transcripts from body camera video and asked Kueng what he was laughing at in the footage, CNN reported. Kueng responded that in another incident the two covered together, a hospital patient was being restrained and yelling while saying he couldn't breathe. A nurse on the scene said, "It takes a lot of oxygen," and Chauvin told Kueng he would use that line. Kueng described the exchange as "a brief moment of levity." It allegedly was a “moment of levity” that happened while Kueng watched another Black man being murdered by a white peer.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison in the state case against him. He pleaded guilty to federal charges in a plea deal that caps any additional time in prison at two and a half years.
While the federal case against Chauvin’s peers isn’t about race like the hate crime trial is for Arbery’s murderers, it’s difficult not to wonder if a white man would have been brutalized as mercilessly as Floyd was by Chauvin. Tou Thao, who was another officer on the scene, and Kueng pleaded not guilty to failing to intervene in their former peer’s use of unreasonable force, and former cop Thomas Lane, Thao, and Kueng all pleaded not guilty to willfully failing to aid Floyd.
Thao wrapped his testimony on Wednesday, and Kueng finished testifying on Thursday. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump tweeted about Kueng and his former peers: “His actions—along w/ those of the other officers who WATCHED George die —are despicable!”
RELATED: Kueng puts woman in 'puddle of her own vomit' on her side—but not George Floyd, despite no pulse
RELATED: Ex-officer Kueng testifies he 'was not a fan of police' and they 'rubbed me the wrong way'
RELATED: Same day jury seated, disgusting remarks unearthed in federal trial of Ahmaud Arbery's killers