Facebook group in support of Ahmaud’s murderers run by racists, trolls…or both?

On Thursday, May 7, two men, Gregory and Travis Micmichael, were charged in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Gregory was the father and Travis was the son. Ahmaud was a 25 year old black man who was jogging when Gregory and Travis Micmichael hunted him down in a pickup truck. Arbery runs around the truck and briefly disappears when moments later Arbery appears to be defending himself against a man assaulting him with a shotgun. After a quick exchange, he was suddenly shot to death.  Despite the tragedy happening on February 23, 2020, Gregory and Travis were only recently arrested and charged with the murder of Ahmaud shortly after the video of this incident surfaced earlier this week.

The investigation into Ahmaud’s murder was first sent to George Barnhill, the prosecutor for the neighboring Waycross Judicial District. Barnhill later recused himself in April when it was discovered that Barnhill’s son also works in the district attorney’s office where Gregory Micmichael was employed.

Since the lead-up to the video being leaked on social media, the case has been handled by at least two other district attorneys.

On May 7, 2020, a Facebook group that once began as “Christians Against Google” on July 22, 2017 changed its name to “Justice for Gregory and Travis Micmichael.”

The ‘about’ section of the group reads, “These 2 God-fearing men were only trying to protect their neighborhood. This area has had a string of break-ins and this man fit the description and did not comply with simple commands. Our hearts go out to the McMichael family in their time of need. Amen.”

Emily Boyer with News4Jax first reported about the group on May 8, 2020. The image below illustrates the history of the group.

According to Facebook, the group existed for two years prior to changing its name, and on May 7, 2020 had approximately 50,000 members. The group has since swelled to nearly 100,000 members.

However, Big Easy Magazine decided to delve deeper into the group with a closer eye on the administrators and moderators of the group. What we found was that this group is being run by a group of hateful racists, including many with fake accounts. One such fake account that is considered an administrator of the group is Casey Anthony, the infamous mother who was accused of murdering her toddler child decades ago, but was eventually found not guilty. The profile states she is in a domestic partnership with Scott Peterson, a man who was found guilty and later sentenced to death for the murder of his wife and unborn child.


Below are some posts from other racist administrators in the group:

Particularly and perhaps the most chilling of comments from an administrator come from James Long who asks members to “stop sending “racist” messages to the admin. You will be reported to the police. We all know how that ends for you.”

While the posts from the administrators appear to be troubling, the comments from the members in the group reveal that the group has been largely taken over by those who are actually advocating for Ahmaud and his family or shedding light on racism.

It also appears that the group has dwarfed into a multi-tiered trolling campaign with no real purpose. Despite the trolling and hateful posts from administrators, we question the legitimacy of the group since members are allowed to join without being vetted and since many of the administrators have fake profiles such as Casey Anthony.

Regardless of whether this group has been hacked by trolls or is being run by a group of racists, nothing good can come from a Facebook group with the purpose of advocating for two racist murderers of another innocent, unarmed young black man. Despite the plethora of racist remarks by administrators of this group, for some reason, Facebook has allowed this group to continue to exist and garner attention. If Facebook is truly adamant about tackling and flagging hate speech, then it’s certainly odd they would allow such a hateful group to grow out of control despite being reported and flagged by multiple members.

Big Easy Magazine stands in solidarity with Ahmaud Arbery, and we fully support tearing down the systems of oppression that have resulted in grave injustices against innocent, unarmed black men. Likewise, we will speak out against the unadulterated spread of hate on social media being masqueraded as free speech. We strongly urge readers who become aware of this group to not give it credibility and report it as hate speech.

In contrast to the hate group blowing up on Facebook, Akeem Baker, Ahmaud’s best friend, launched a GoFundMe for Ahmaud’s family. So far, over $360,000 has been raised. You can donate here.

Big Easy Magazine continues to investigate the origins of the support group of the murderers of Ahmaud. If you have any tips that could shed more light on this story, please email us at tips@bigeasymagazine.com.

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