Talk:Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery

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RfC on Arbery's criminal history[edit]

Per above discussion which has failed to resolve the issue, and call for an RfC I ask:
Should Arbery's prior criminal record be included in this article? CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 03:45, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

  • Oppose On WP:BLP and WP:DUE grounds. Arbery may be dead, but he is recently dead, which means BLP still applies to him. Thus to include mention of his criminal record, we need airtight sources that connect his criminal record to his death (seeing as this is an article about his death, the only reason he is notable). I don't see such sources. Also, the coverage feels pretty un-DUE to me, and like POV pushing on our part. The hypocrisy of folks trying to add a black dude's criminal record in a case where he was not the criminal is not lost on me. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 03:45, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
You seem to be implying a racist agenda on the part of editors that disagree with your point of view, which certainly isn't assuming good faith and is conduct unbecoming of an admin. Rreagan007 (talk) 03:53, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Fair, I'll strike that. I still stand by the fact that it is a BLP violation and un-DUE. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 03:59, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate your response and commend you for that. Rreagan007 (talk) 04:00, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose We would need reliable sources that not only mention his criminal history but tie it in directly to his death. This article is about his shooting, not his entire life, so it's not the right place to air dirty laundry. And, to be frank, it appears that some editors are eager to denigrate the recently deceased so as to provide a defense for the people who killed him, which is tacky, if not racist. FollowTheSources (talk) 04:01, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
    @FollowTheSources: - with respect, I don't believe accusations of racism are helpful. starship.paint (talk) 04:26, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Stricken. FollowTheSources (talk) 04:50, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose' his criminal history is irrelevant unless it is shown to be directly related to his shooting death. Nothing that I've seen in reliable sources suggests that it is. Sydney Poore/FloNight♥♥♥♥ 04:05, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose the problem is that this article is not about Arbery personal life. This article is about the shooting. If you are going to bring prior criminal history you will have to provide an evidence that this is related to the shooting. We don't have that evidence yet. If they are relevant we would have evidences after the investigations. If they are not, we wont have evidence and we would have not included them anyway.--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 04:09, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support Many many many reliable sources are reporting on it and it's relevant to the controversy. Definitely DUE weight. Articles that have reported on priors: News 4 Jacksonville, NY Daily News, The Atlanta Journal Constitution Article, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor CSM, KDRV NewsNewsGuard (talk) 04:49, 15 May 2020 (UTC) NewsGuard (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Partial support, at least for the shoplifting charge. Gregory McMichael was involved in the investigation of Arbery's shoplifting case, so that establishes a prior relationship between the two, and also establishes that McMichael was aware of Arbery's criminal past. Of course, it may be that McMicheal's involvement also informed him of Arbery's firearm charge, but that is speculative for now. Certainly, the shoplifting is relevant background to the shooting. WWGB (talk) 05:03, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support and Oppose because there is no single answer. I echo WWGB in thought. In context where it is relevant, pertinent, and of relevance there is no harm in it being included. An example might be when referencing the DA's assertion that he came from a criminal background in order to quantify what he is asserting and to provide background (I.e. how long ago the crimes were, what outcome of the criminal acts were) or were referencing the potential overlap of McMichaels / Arbery due to his prior trial by DA (however it is unclear how much he was party to the prosecution in that case, as I believe it was done by the office but not necessarily with any input from him). However, by default the answer is no. His prior record was not known nor a factor at point of shooting, or unlikely to be known, and would be speculation to include it as a motive on behalf of McMichaels. If it is later used in arguments for / against their actions then that becomes more pertinent. Koncorde (talk) 05:08, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose for basically the reasons above. Until there's more coverage in the RSes (which may come), I say we err on the side of protecting a (recent) BLP. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 05:10, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now until more sources of higher quality are available. It is worth noting that this may have been a case of mistaken identity as well, for there were various reports of trespassing incidents, and the older McMichael said at the scene after the incident that he thought the victim "Mr. Arbery had looked like the suspect in a string of break-ins in the area"[1]. Not that any of this should have led the McMichael's to apprehend the subject.--MONGO (talk) 07:41, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose – I have seen no RS say that there is a direct connection between his record and his killing, the subject of the article. There is no evidence that the shooters knew this was the person one before had investigated. I also see no evidence that he was convicted of the shoplifting charge. WP:BALASP This remains a WP:BLP, and we’re better than that. O3000 (talk) 10:21, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - And we should be wary for sockpuppet accounts voting 'support' on this issue multiple times.--Shadybabs (talk) 13:35, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support - Arbery's past behavior explains his more recent behavior. This article is treating Arbery as a saint - down to the grad photo with the aura in the background. (Redacted)Topcat777(talk) 16:00, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
    @Topcat777: - you're right that he was not a saint, he was just an unarmed human who was confronted by two men with guns, one of whom who directly approached him. starship.paint (talk) 16:08, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Starship.paint: (Redacted) Topcat777(talk) 16:15, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
What recent behavior? Who said he was the attacker? These BLP vios must stop. O3000 (talk) 16:14, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Topcat777: - you seem to be an expert in predicting the future. Send me some lottery numbers, will you? starship.paint (talk) 16:27, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
According to this article, the district attorney George Barnhill said that "Arbery initiated the fight". Rreagan007 (talk) 16:24, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Ah yes Rreagan007, according to this article, that’s the same district attorney who offered an opinion before he was even assigned to the case, the same district attorney who also offered an opinion while stating he was about to recuse from the case, and according to GA AG, the same district attorney who neglected to inform all this to the GA AG. Also, the same district attorney that claimed there was a video of Arbery burglarizing a home, which mysteriously has yet to turn up. starship.paint (talk) 16:27, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Starship.paint:Regardless, he was a district attorney giving his professional legal opinion. And there is video of Arbery trespassing. Whether or not that trespass constitutes burglary depends on Arbery's intent. If he was just curious and wanted to look around a construction site because he's interested in the construction process, then it's not a burglary. If he entered with the intent to look for something valuable he could take, then it was a burglary. That would be a question for a jury to decide had he lived and been prosecuted. Rreagan007 (talk) 16:35, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Walking through another person's property is not trespass unless posted or you break and enter. It certainly doesn't constitute burglary if nothing is taken. Regarding his "professional opinion", the GA AG is now reviewing the investigation after intense criticism. O3000 (talk) 16:58, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
That's simply not correct under modern law. Just being on someone else's property without their permission is trespass, regardless of whether anything is posted. And under the old common law, breaking and entering was required for burglary, but most modern burglary statutes have done away with this requirement, so going through an unlocked door or even an open door can still constitute a burglary. And entering with the intent to steal is all that is required, not actual stealing, for it to be burglary. Rreagan007 (talk) 17:04, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
In Georgia, it must be posted for the act of entering or remaining on the premises to be prosecuted as criminal trespassing per O.C.G.A. 16-7-21(b)(2). An important exception to that is if the person enters with the intent of committing a crime per (b)(1), but that has not yet been shown to be part of the fact pattern in this case. If there is to be further discussion about this, how about taking it up below in the "Discussion" subsection? Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 19:20, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support. We already reference Arbery's past criminal convictions in the article, we just don't explicitly state what those past convictions were for. This will just leave readers of this article wondering what those past criminal convictions were for, and some readers will assume they were for worse crimes than what he was actually convicted of. Rreagan007 (talk) 16:30, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per WWGB, atleast the shoplifting charge. I think it's relevant, particularly the possibly knowledge of this by the murderer. ~ HAL333 16:53, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Except for the mention that McMichael worked on a shoplifting investigation of Arbery; other crimes are not demonstrated relevant. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 17:06, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, but only with respect to prior events related to his shooting. A suspect in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery was involved in a previous investigation of him [2]. Hence it is relevant why exactly he was involved in the investigation. If this is because of the previous shoplifting, that should be included. If this is because of another real or alleged crime, noticing this another crime is inevitable. My very best wishes (talk) 18:34, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Does not appear to be relevant to the incident. The father and son certainly had no idea whether or not he had a criminal history when they confronted him. His criminal history isn't relevant to his death. – Muboshgu (talk) 18:49, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Muboshgu per CNN "One of the men accused in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery was involved in a previous prosecution of Arbery"[3] ~ HAL333 19:06, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
    HAL333, oh, I missed that update. Did the accused remember Arbery from that interaction? – Muboshgu (talk) 19:13, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Muboshgu There are a few other sources, but they essentially say the same thing. I don't think the accused have said anything on it - I think it might incriminate them in that it gives them a motive. Now this is just speculation, but I think that retired cop may have been killed him because he was upset he couldn't nail him with anything from the earlier investigation. Now that I think about it, it might not merit inclusion until there are some more extensive sources on it per WP:CRYSTAL. ~ HAL333 19:21, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
    Yeah that's what I'm thinking. They could have interacted with each other and had no memory of it, or just didn't realize that they had interacted with each other before. In that case, the priors are irrelevant. If the guy did recognize Arbery, that's another matter. But WP:CRYSTAL applies. – Muboshgu (talk) 21:26, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
You may have also missed the statement in the article that says "He [Gregory McMichael] said he recognized Arbery from prior incidents, including one where Gregory said he saw Arbery reach into his pants as if for a weapon." —BarrelProof (talk) 01:19, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
As a footnote to that remark, I'd like to point out that the cited source did not support the exact phrasing that was used in that quote from the article, so I changed that quoted statement to say "He said he recognized Arbery from a prior recent incident 'the other night', in which he said he saw Arbery reach into his pants as if for a weapon.". —BarrelProof (talk) 02:42, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
No, we didn't miss the statement from a person arrested for homicide. Should we accept this? O3000 (talk) 01:24, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
You'd have a point if BarrelProof was arguing that the article should state in Wikipedia's voice "He recognized Arbery from prior incidents." Instead, he's quoting text that says "He said he recognized Arbery from prior incidents," which means it's a statement attributed to the defendant. So it's difficult to fathom what you mean when you say "Should we accept this?". What exactly is it that you're asking editors to "accept"? Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 01:38, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
It's already in the article, and I have no problem with that as a claim. So, I don't know what else the editor could have meant given the edit to which he responded, other than to suggest it was the "truth". O3000 (talk) 01:50, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
What I meant is that it seems unreasonable to declare that "The father and son certainly had no idea whether or not he had a criminal history when they confronted him", if Gregory McMichael had previously been involved in a prosecution of Arbery[1][2] and said he recognized him. Note that immediately above my comment is someone saying that "If the guy did recognize Arbery, that's another matter." He himself said that he did recognize Arbery. —BarrelProof (talk) 02:03, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
There is no reason to believe or disbelieve this (other than it's obviously what an accused would say in this situation). The claim that they had some sort of past connection is already in the article. But, we need more than that in RS to trot out past misdeeds of the dead person in a BLP/BDP. O3000 (talk) 02:15, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
You seem to be assuming that I'm saying some things that I have not said. Also, at this point, the one prior clear connection between Gregory McMichael and Arbery is not mentioned in the article. It was removed a couple of hours ago. —BarrelProof (talk) 02:42, 16 May 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Boone, Christian (May 7, 2020). "Father of Brunswick shooter previously investigated victim". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 9, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Andone, Dakin; Barajas, Angela; Morris, Jason (May 9, 2020). "A suspect in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery was involved in a previous investigation of him, recused prosecutor says". CNN. Archived from the original on May 9, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  • Oppose as they relate to Arbery. McMichael's previous interactions with Arbery may be relevant, but that should be treated with caution. Even though he's been charged with murder, we should avoid SYNTH when presenting possible motive on his part. Guettarda (talk) 19:17, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support as New York Post, Graham Media Group, and CNN have all made it a point to present this content as relevant to the story of the shooting. It is perplexing why Wikipedia would wish to be so willfully one-sided in presenting this article, where the sports achievements and career ambitions of the deceased are highlighted, but his illegal activity is swept clear; while the career wobbles and concerns of the living are not being sheltered by the WP:BLP policy. I'm quite certain that the "Support" opinions, though, will be summarily ignored. - Buckaboob Bonsai (talk) 21:05, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support - with limits It should include specifics where it relates to any past link between his shooters and him, and to relate what the shooters are saying. In particular, the article currently mentions McMichael had helped with a previous prosecution -- it should also say what the charge was for, and what outcome. Other than those, at most a summary level may be given about other criminal records not directly involved with the topic. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 22:35, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not relevant to the topic at this time. Need RS that states how prior indescretions are directly related to his death. And as I understand it, the shooter may have mistaken Arbery for someone else. There is too much speculation at this point. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 23:33, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
If he may have mistaken Arbery for someone else, it would be useful for editors to consider. Do you have something you can link to, or was it speculation? AzureCitizen (talk) 00:36, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
Um, isn't the onus t'other way 'round? It's speculation that he did recognize him before chasing him down, no matter what is said after the fact by lawyers. O3000 (talk) 00:51, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
The idea that McMichael might have recognized Arbery is not just speculation. McMichael directly said he recognized Arbery. The police report has a record of him saying it and also describing what McMichael claimed that Arbery did in a previous alleged encounter just a couple of days prior to the shooting encounter. McMichael not only said he recognized Arbery from a previous encounter, but also that it was a very recent encounter and that Arbery had acted in a threatening way in that encounter – as if he had a concealed firearm. —BarrelProof (talk) 02:53, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
The police report does not say that McMichael recognized the suspect as Arbery. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 05:09, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
That's right. But it does say that McMichael said he recognized "the suspect" (who was definitely Arbery – no one is suggesting that "the suspect" was not Arbery) and that when he had seen him just "the other night", McMichael said Arbery had "stuck his hand down his pants which lead them to believe the male was armed". —BarrelProof (talk) 05:39, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
The police report expressly says "McMichael stated that they called out to the unidentified male." Nowhere in the police report's narrative of McMichael's statement does McMichael use the name of the "unidentified male." Therefore, it is entirely-unsourced speculation to suggest that McMichael knew he was calling out to Arbery, which means we have no evidence that McMichael could tie the "unidentified male" to anyone's criminal history. It is false to say that McMichael said Arbery in any context - McMichael never said the person's name. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 05:56, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Arbery's criminal history, including arrests and convictions, seems to me to be specifically relevant in more than one way:
  1. Connection to Gregory McMichael: according to the AJC, McMichael "investigated a 2018 shoplifting charge against Arbery. At the time Arbery was on probation for a gun-related incident that took place when he was still in high school. His probation was revoked after McMichael’s investigation."[1] Prior relationships between victims and accused murderers seem to me generally relevant, and obviously so given that McMichaels apparently investigated Arbery on criminal charges two years before he was alleged to have killed him. My opinion is that the simple fact of their history is notable, and I do not understand why some are demanding "proof" that McMichael's "recognized" Arbery on 2/23/2020 for this to be relevant; for example, if it turned out they were twin brothers, but didn't know it at the time and it had nothing to do with the motivation for the shooting, I believe that curiosity would also be notable and worthy of inclusion. And I don't see how to explain the history with McMichael without touching on what numerous sources describe as Arbery's convictions for shoplifting, probation violation, and bringing a gun to a school (for which he reportedly received the probation).[2][3][4]
  2. Connection to Glynn County Police Department: The Brunswick News states that, along with with two other police departments, Glynn County Police were involved in the arrest of 19-year-old Arbery in 2013 after he brought a handgun to a basketball game at Brunswick High School, where he was not a student.[5] It was further reported that he ran from police when ordered to stop, and that two officers were injured apprehending him.[6] Given that the instant article goes into some detail about the actions of the Glynn County Police Department, isn't it obviously relevant that they, too, had at least one prior run-in with Arbery? And doesn't the nature of that encounter necessitate documenting at least this part of his specific criminal history? Tambourine60 (talk) 05:00, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support- I added a sentence on it a few days ago and it was deleted. To me, his prior convictions are obviously relevant, because the McMichaels are likely to argue that this was an attempt at a citizen's arrest and, given McMichael Sr's career, that the victim was a "known criminal". Now, whether you buy that line of defence or not is another question (I, personally, don't) but it's kind of absurd that the current description of Arbery's life tells us little more than that he was a linebacker and frequent jogger, and also that Wikipedia is omitting something news organisations are referring to - whether they are left-leaning or right-leaning. LeverageSerious (talk) 18:51, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose any inclusion in the biography portion. It would be UNDUE (though, honestly, so is much of the other stuff about his hobbies) as that part of his life is not relevant to this homicide. If RS widely mention his past criminal history or other alleged behaviors with respect to the McMichaels' alleged motives, then that should be mentioned with caution. There is no clear evidence, for example, of burglary by Aubrey so any mentions of that would need to clearly state it is alleged. EvergreenFir (talk) 19:01, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose clearly UNDUE and SYNTH, also a pretty transparent way of sneaking in whitewashing POV into the article. Volunteer Marek 07:42, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support. Reliable sources (1, 2, 3, 4) indicate Arbery has been convicted twice:
  1. Firearms offences (2013), viz. taking a handgun to a basketball game taking place at a school, thereby violating laws concerning gun-free zones.
  2. Shoplifting (2018), viz. minor theft and violation of probation.
The oppose !votes are entirely correct that ordinarily the shoplifting would be UNDUE as the article is about his death, not his life. However, as evidenced by the third source I provide, there is substantial context which makes it relevant: one of the suspects was involved in arresting Arbery for shoplifting.
The firearms conviction is clearly much more serious than shoplifting. While both are misdemeanours, the sentence for the firearms offence was far more serious because of the nature of the crime. It has been covered in reliable sources. However, it is not relevant to Arbery's death unless the defence brings it up as bad character evidence, or at least, the American equivalent, which, if prosecuted federally, would be Federal Rule of Evidence 404. Its inclusion would, at that point, be warranted, as it would be a fact of case, if found admissible, and for our purposes, is verified by the above reliable sources.
For now, include the shoplifting and note the suspect's involvement in Arbery's arrest. Wait until the trial to decide on the firearms offence, however, if it is admitted as evidence, it will, per my above reasoning, be relevant to the article. SITH (talk) 13:21, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support. 1) The fact that McMichael had previously investigated Arbery for shoplifting and would have been made aware then of Arbery's high school gun incident is relevant, as he was involved in Arbery's killing. Also potentially significant is that McMichael may have omitted this from his report to the police, only claiming he knew Arbery was the one on surveillance video. As more facts come out, this angle is likely to become more relevant. 2) It's also relevant because Arbery's killing and the video are now part of the national conversation, and racists are siezing on Arbery's scant criminal history to claim 'he was no angel', to justify his extrajudicial execution by White racists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gorkelobb (talkcontribs) 15:33, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose in general as WP:UNDUE. Support to the limited extent needed to cover McMichael's prior investigation of Arbery if reliable sources indicate that this was relevant to the killing or the aftermath. --Mdaniels5757 (talk) 21:48, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose His past criminal history didn't cause him to start jogging in that area. It seems merely an attempt to cast a shadow on the proceedings. scope_creepTalk 11:05, 18 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not demonstrated to be relevant. It takes a fairly tortured logic to argue that because I may just remember that you committed a shoplifting several years ago, I'm justified in chasing you with vehicles and threatening you with guns, because you may conceivably have had dishonest intent when you entered an open building site today, or even possibly previously - a site which is not mine and which I have no legal responsibility for. Having previously been a police officer, might conceivably have given the person(s) an understanding of the limits of power - instead of seemingly granting them vigilante rights, with no responsibility for outcome. It is a courtesy to the killed person to exclude their (pretty minimal and distant) record - though including it would only advertise the wholly disproportionate response anyway.Pincrete (talk) 12:33, 18 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment am I the only one that finds the very vague wording "involved in a previous investigation of him", odd. The claim of course comes from the now recused prosecutor, but what does it actually mean? That the accused merely saw the file on the previous investigation? That he actually interacted with Arbery at that time? Editors are constructing a whole back-story between the two, without any certainty that the victim and one of the accused even interacted in the past, let alone that either remembered each other from then. Pincrete (talk) 11:10, 19 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per DUE, as two of the players here have inter-acted prior to this event. This appears reliably sourced. That truly colors things differently than if there had never been interaction between them. Leaving such material out strikes against the reader seeing possible motives and pre-concieved suspicians of those involved; thus, this information is very germaine to the event. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 21:16, 18 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose His past criminal history has nothing to do with his death. Gandydancer (talk) 03:33, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose So far, his criminal history is not connected to his death so should not be included. BetsyRMadison (talk) 15:41, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Arbery's past behavior explains his more recent behavior" (support argument, above) seems nonneutrally selective. For example, one could assert his past criminality suggests his running in the video was evasion rather than jogging. But if his past behavior is supposedly such a guide, then how about that he has jogged in the past? Does that mean it's "more likely" the intent of his running was jogging? I think including his criminal history in itself implies it is informative of his intent, potentially skewing objective consideration of sourced information. His criminal history is not relevant to the shooting or what immediately preceded it in any fashion that isn't highly speculative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, on UNDUE and BLP grounds. --K.e.coffman (talk) 20:55, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure we can make sense of the thing without including at least soem mention, especially in connection with McMichael's previous involvement. There are enough reliable sources discussing it that it should be possible to write at least a short neutral paragraph that doesn't imply that Arbery was a bad hombre. Guy (help!) 21:34, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

@Objective3000: - sources for shoplifting, Merritt told CNN over the weekend that Arbery’s alleged criminal background was a shoplifting conviction in his past., shoplifting conviction in Arbery's past, a shoplifting conviction. His mother said that has nothing to do with this and her son is the victim in this case. Isaidnoway (talk) 11:35, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

You provided three sources. Two are stated as claims made by unidentified defenders of the shooters. One says "alleged". None of these qualify as sources that he was convicted of shoplifting. And, none of them use the word "felony". O3000 (talk) 11:55, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  1. ^ Boone, Christian; Jr, Bert Roughton. "Glynn County commissioners say DA blocked arrests after fatal shooting". ajc. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  2. ^ Collins, Sean (2020-05-06). "The killing of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black jogger in Georgia, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  3. ^ Fausset, Richard (2020-04-26). "Two Weapons, a Chase, a Killing and No Charges". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  4. ^ Glawe, Justin (2020-05-05). "'It's Murder': This Shooting of an Unarmed Black Man Is Roiling Georgia". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  5. ^ Hall, Michael The Brunswick. "Police arrest four in span of an hour". The Brunswick News. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  6. ^ Lasch, Tim Pulliam, Brianne (2013-12-09). "Police: Man brought gun to high school basketball game". WJXT. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
Are you suggesting Arbery was not a shoplifter? Family attorney Lee Merritt has acknowledged Arbery’s 2018 arrest on shoplifting charges. WWGB (talk) 13:23, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
He was arrested. I cannot find any source that says he was convicted. If convicted, I cannot find any source that it was a felony. If a felony, I cannot find any reliable source that says the shooters were aware of who the man was at the time of the shooting. Even if all of this is true, piss poor reason to track someone down and kill them. The connection is extremely tenuous for bringing up a past record of a man in an article about his killing. O3000 (talk) 13:30, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
The NYT article says: "according to local news". They attributed instead of stated as fact. The Times then went on in the next paragraph saying that Mr. Barnhill’s office most recently drew attention for its prosecution of a black woman for multiple felonies because she helped a first-time voter use a voting machine. Do we know that the shoplifting was over $300? Even if we do, sounds like WP:SYNTH. O3000 (talk) 14:04, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
If one is found in "violation of their probabtion" then they were convicted, as the NYT piece states clearly as do other sources that that say he was in "violation" that have been repeatedly posted here they you continue to wikilaywer against disruptively. One isn't found in violation of their probation if they are innocent of the probation violating offense! Doh.--MONGO (talk) 14:16, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Are you saying that you have to be convicted of a crime to have your probation violated? That's SYNTH as well as being incorrect. And watch it with the claim of disruptive wikilawyering. I'm doing no such thing. O3000 (talk) 14:38, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Objective3000, you did not read the paragraph correctly. "Court records show that Mr. Arbery was convicted of shoplifting and of violating probation in 2018; according to local news reports, he was indicted five years earlier for taking a handgun to a basketball game". Notice the semi-colon? "according to local news" refers to his 2013 indictment, not his conviction for shoplifting. WWGB (talk) 14:21, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
You got me there; so there's one source of a shoplifting conviction. Where does it say this was a felony? And why on Earth would a shoplifting conviction be relevant to his death? O3000 (talk) 14:40, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
No, there are multiple sources, just because you refuse to acknowledge them doesn't mean they don't exist. Isaidnoway (talk) 15:27, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
I'll ignore that ridiculous accusation. As you can see above, I am perfectly willing to acknowledge. WP:AGF O3000 (talk) 15:34, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
I would love to WP:AGF, but correct me if I'm wrong: did you not accuse me of failing to source this same information (as to conviction) on the Administrator's Messageboard at 15:01, 10 May 2020? I got a "final warning" as a result of your complaint and responded by re-citing the RS (I had previously cited it in the Article) at 23:19, 11 May 2020 here. And was this not three days before you claimed, here on the Talk page, that this information had no RS? If so, how could you WP:IGF write: "What criminal record? I've looked at RS and can't find any indication that he has been convicted of a parking violation."? Tambourine60 (talk) 04:01, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
It's unknown at this time (unless there is another RS out there) as to whether or not the 2018 shoplifting conviction was a misdemeanor or a felony. The "felony probation revocation" case discussed in the NYT's article is referring to a prior felony. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 15:55, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but I don't understand all this discussion of whether the shoplifting was a felony or not. What difference does that make? Did someone try to change the article to say it was a felony? —BarrelProof (talk) 06:31, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
    • BarrelProof, it makes a huge difference to those who wish to go from "he wasn't perfect" to "he was convicted" to "he was a convicted felon" (because "felon" has this ring to to) to "see, it's his own fault/the shooting was justified". And it's a very white kind of thing to talk about violations and probation as if there are really objective values at stake here--in Georgia, in the South, in a judicial system that a blind man can see is rigged against people of color and the poor. So, if one day your old car breaks down or your mom is sick and can't drive you to your appointment with your probation officer and you thus violate probation, BOOM there you go--it's in the local news, and when you get shot it's all over the local news and we can go "see, he had it coming". I found Devil in the Grove to be good reading.

      In the end, every suggestion that something from five years ago or some shoplifting conviction somehow were involved in his death isn't just SYNTH, UNDUE, and a BLP violation, it's whitewashing (unfortunately that is not against Wikipedia policy). Drmies (talk) 23:36, 16 May 2020 (UTC)


@CaptainEek Airtight sources have already pointed out that his criminal record directly ties to Gregory McMichael, and therefor this incident, in that McMichael had been involved with investigating Arbery for one of his past criminal offenses (it isn't specified whether it was the shoplifting charge in 2018 or the gun violation/officer obstruction in 2013). That's a pretty direct connection, even ignoring the fact that Arbery being chased on suspicion of theft makes his past theft-related charge relevant to the page. CalmHand1 (talk) 07:57, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

@CalmHand1: Which sources? Could you link those you refer to? CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 08:22, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Sure. This is the CNN report on the issue, the AJC (Atlanta News) report, and the NY Post report. CalmHand1 (talk) 09:27, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
CalmHand1, What I get out of this is that McMichael previosly investigated him, which is the notable part, not the fact that Arbery had a record. So perhaps we include a sentence that mentions that fact, but doesn't necessarily go into depth? From the sources I've looked through they didn't specify which of Arbery's cases McMichael had worked. What about: McMichaels had previously been involved in an investigation of Arbery, according to a prosecutor who had worked the case, although it was unclear for what reason. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 10:08, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
User:CaptainEek, this was just another right-wing apologist, and they're blocked now. Drmies (talk) 14:57, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
This is already in the article.--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 10:11, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
SharabSalam, Where? I don't doubt its there, its just a big article and I can't say I felt like reading the whole thing again, and couldn't find it in my search :) CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 10:15, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
CaptainEek, its in the article. The CNN source that is cited above is in the article and is even named <ref name="CNNPreviousInvestigation">. The article in Wikipedia already says As an investigator, McMichael had helped with a criminal prosecution of Ahmaud Arbery in 2018 for shoplifting.--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 10:29, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
SharabSalam, Ah, thank you, I must've missed it...its late. At any rate, that still strengthens my belief that if we mention any case, it should only be the shoplifting one, not the gun case. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 10:37, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Incidentally, I can't find any source that says the shoplifting charge resulted in a conviction. O3000 (talk) 10:39, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Yea ofc. It has been there for a long time, nobody disputed it. Everything should be directly related to the topic of this article, which is not "Arbery history" but the "shooting of Arbery" which has nothing to do with the gun in the school etc etc.--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 10:44, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - It appears that the disputed content had been added to the article. Since the content was already disputed and under discussion with no consensus for inclusion, I went ahead and removed it, with a reminder that the WP:ONUS to achieve consensus for inclusion is upon those seeking to include disputed content. Isaidnoway (talk) 08:37, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Thank you @Isaidnoway:NewsGuard (talk) 14:23, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
So does this mean everyone is decided or does this vote continue? NewsGuard (talk) 14:34, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
It means that content will not be added to the article, until a consensus forms from this RFC that it should. If a consensus never forms to include it, then it won't be added. That's what Isaidnoway is referring to with regard to WP:ONUS. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 16:03, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - Something which has been overlooked is that the police report expressly does not use Arbery's name in any narrative of McMichael's statement, and actually explicitly says that "McMichael stated that they called out to the unidentified male." Nowhere is McMichael quoted using the man's name. There is zero evidence that at the time of the incident, McMichael knew that he was chasing a person named Ahmaud Arbery. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 06:00, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
You're right. There is zero evidence that McMichael remembered Arbery's name. Has anyone said otherwise? —BarrelProof (talk) 06:21, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
If McMichael didn't recognize Arbery, then Arbery's prior criminal record is entirely irrelevant, because McMichael had no idea at the time he was chasing someone with a prior criminal record for anything. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 06:23, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
What if he did recognize him NewsGuard (talk) 07:22, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
I don't know if I get a say on this as an IP editor, but it seems bizarre to me that a criminal record would be excluded. Some here have argued it is because of BLP, but this is nonsensical. Arbery priors don't disappear with his death. He has been charged and convicted of a crime in a court of law. If BLP is meant to apply to inconvenient criminal records then thousands of Wiki pages must be expunged of criminal records immediately. Also if on the record criminal records are not relevant from 2 years ago, how is a disciplinary procedure against McMichael senior when he was a police officer 14 Years ago relevant? Does BLP not apply to him? He was a PRIVATE citizen when he attempted the alleged CITIZENS arrest, so his police history 14 Years ago is completely and total irrelevant. Then there is the claim that the priors are not relevant to the issues at hand. Okay let's look at this. He is accused by the suspects of theft. He has criminal charges relating to theft. He may have been suspected of taking a firearm from a car. He has a firearm conviction. How are these not relevant? Wikipedia should be about proven facts that are backed up by reliable sources. Removing facts does not help an article, it simply leaves the reader less knowledgeable. Wikipedia should be about providing MORE information to the reader... not less. To argue for LESS verifiable reliable sourced facts is to argue to make the reader LESS informed. Editors should side on the side of providing as much information to the reader as possible, not try and distort their view to their own narrative. I would rather a reader have MORE facts than LESS facts because then they can form their own view rather than being directed into some kind of narrative. If the McMichaels had a criminal record I would absolutely want them to be listed here and so too should Arberys. To deny the reader the FACTS is to deny them Truth. (talk) 09:47, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
Your last sentence just says it all about your comment, "To deny the reader the FACTS is to deny them Truth", which is so stupid that it makes me cringe. We don't do investigations here. We avoid adding irrelevant content that still no investigation has concluded that it is relevant or not.--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 10:45, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
I haven't mentioned anything about running investigations, I simply stated that priors backed up by reliable sources should be reported. Investigations are done by courts of law and the police with a judgement made by a jury or judge. My comment was that these should be reported on(from reliable sources) in a wiki article because the more information the reader has the more informed they will be. Arguments could be made if prior legal troubles are relevant to any article, but the reader is not LESS informed from knowing them. (talk) 11:22, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
So, should we include their medical records, school transcripts, what their exes said about them, when they lost their virginity? No, we report what has been shown to be relevant. And we are very careful about negative info. O3000 (talk) 12:22, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
Interesting you say that because in the article it mentions Arberys interest in becoming an electrician and him being a linebacker in a football team. Are these as relevant as priors, or less so in your opinion? (talk) 12:48, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
He's dead. Have some respect. O3000 (talk) 12:55, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
To respond to the opening remark of "I don't know if I get a say on this as an IP editor", and as a general response to other people who might be wondering about that question, I would say that IP editors are intended to get a say in debates and should be assumed to be acting in good faith unless evidence shows otherwise. However, as for you specifically, I did notice that Drmies said at one point that your "edits here, [...] amount, especially in aggregation, to gross violations of the BLP and obvious POV pushing". Drmies is not the sort who would make such comments lightly. —BarrelProof (talk) 16:49, 16 May 2020 (UTC)
(Redacted) ---Steve Quinn (talk) 19:09, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

Did you know nomination[edit]

Created by Colinmcdermott (talk) and Starship.paint (talk). Nominated by Starship.paint (talk) at 05:47, 7 May 2020 (UTC).

  • This strikes me as in somewhat poor taste — "became a viral video" make it sound like it's "The Hampsterdance Song". I see what it's trying to say, but the tone is wrong. (The linked source does have that issue in the headline, too, but it doesn't come off that way quite as strongly with the headline's wording, to me anyway.) Just my 2¢. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/them)|TalkContributions 21:46, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
  • ALT1 ... that although the people involved in the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery were immediately identified by police, arrests were only made 74 days later, after a video of the shooting was publicized? Sources: WaPo and AJC
@Goldenshimmer: - how about the above? starship.paint (talk) 08:41, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
Symbol confirmed.svg Resolves my concern, looks good to me! Thanks starship.paint. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/them)|TalkContributions 04:00, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
Goldenshimmer - thank you. Do you have concerns about the article itself? starship.paint (talk) 10:01, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
starship.paint: As an article it seems solid, and while I'm certainly no DYK expert, it seems to meet the guidelines. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/them)|TalkContributions 23:48, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

() Symbol redirect vote 4.svg Needs full review - prior tick did not address the criteria. The Squirrel Conspiracy (talk) 22:16, 29 May 2020 (UTC)

(If it's any help, I did go through the list at Wikipedia:Did_you_know#Eligibility_criteria and it appeared to meet all the points, in case that wasn't clear from my earlier comment. Of course, if I missed something or otherwise did it wrong, never mind, and sorry for the trouble! First time commenting on one of these, so I'm not used to the procedure...) —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/them)|TalkContributions 21:19, 31 May 2020 (UTC)