In a toenail remark, Ben Crump claims that the defense attorney said Arbery was a “runaway slave.”


In a toenail remark, Ben Crump claims that the defense attorney said Arbery was a “runaway slave.”

Ben Crump, a civil rights activist, lambasted one of the defense attorneys representing the defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case, alleging that in her toenail comments to the jury, she claimed Arbery was a “runaway slave.”

“Unbelievably, you hear the defense lawyer declare in her closing argument that Ahmaud Arbery had long legs with dirty toenails like a runaway slave and that [the defendants]were permitted to hunt him and force him to conform or murder him,” Crump told CNN on Wednesday.

In her closing statements during the trial on Monday, attorney Laura Hogue, who is representing Greg McMichael in the case, sparked uproar by painting a horrific image of Arbery as a “repeat nightly visitor.”

“Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after his choices 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 the jury, after suggesting that the 25-year-actions old’s to flee the men accused of killing him played a factor in his death.

Inside the courtroom, there were audible gasps, and Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she stood up and left the room as soon as she heard the description.

Cooper-Jones later told CNN’s John Berman, “I thought it was very, very nasty to talk about his long, dirty toenails and to completely ignore the fact that my kid had a massive hole in his chest when he was shot with that shotgun.”

Crump accused Hogue of using “dog-whistle rhetoric” in her arguments to the jury on Wednesday in the intention of dissuading jurors from empathizing with Arbery.

“She was saying he’s a scary, Black man, and if you tell the jury he’s a scary, Black person, you want them to dissociate themselves from what they see on that film of a human being being pursued down and lynched in broad daylight,” Crump said.

“We don’t want you to think about him because he’s a frightening Black person,” he continued.

Crump also cited comparisons between Arbery’s case and that of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black Florida student who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in 2012. Zimmerman was arrested afterwards. This is a condensed version of the information.


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