Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, expresses her gratitude for justice but claims that the murder convictions of the men who cornered and killed her son will not bring her son back.

“This is the second Thanksgiving we’ve had without Ahmaud. But at the same time I’m thankful. This is the first Thanksgiving we are saying we got justice for Ahmaud,” Cooper-Jones, told The Associated Press (AP) on Thursday, November 25.

On Wednesday, November 24, the three white men who chased and killed a 25-year-old black man- Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick in February 2020, were all found guilty of murder.

After they wrongfully identified him as a burglar responsible for several events in the area, father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves, pursued Arbery, and eventually shot him to death. William “Roddie” Bryan, a neighbor, also joined the chase and recorded the tragic moment.

“I finally got a chance to come out of those courtroom doors and say, we did it, we did it together,” Cooper-Jones said.

Wanda Cooper-Jones told The AP that she plans to spend Thanksgiving with her immediate family because she is still away from home in Brunswick, Georgia, where she spent the past six weeks at the trial of her son’s killers. Cooper-Jones adds they may have pork chops and butterbeans, Ahmaud Arbery’s favorite meal.

“Today is actually going to be a day of rest. I’ve been sitting in that courtroom since October 18,” Cooper-Jones said. “I’m gathering my immediate family. We’re going to have a small dinner. We’ve going to be thankful. We’re going to give our praises to God.”

“We’re thankful for Ahmaud’s life. Thankful for the love that he’s shown us, for the years we had him. Thankful for the fight we stayed in for justice. Thankful that now we can start healing,” Arbery’s aunt Thea Brooks told the AP.

Arbery’s shooting became one of the most high-profile legal actions that fueled racial injustice outcry and the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S.

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