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AP first to report federal hate crimes convictions of Arbery killers

CORRECTS SPELLING OF AHMAUD ARBERY'S LAST NAME - Family members of Ahmaud Arbery and their attorneys raise their arms in victory outside the federal courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., after all three men involved in his killing were found guilty of federal hate crimes, Feb. 22, 2022. Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were found guilty of violating Arbery’s civil rights and targeting him because he was Black. (AP Photo / Lewis M. Levine)

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AP journalists Russ Bynum, Anisha Frizzell and Lisa Adams Wagner teamed up to break the news that three white men had been convicted of federal hate crimes in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man killed two years ago as he ran through a Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood.

As jury deliberations approached, South Regional Desk editor Anisha Frizzell put together extensive prep, and when verdicts were announced, South Desk colleague Lisa Adams Wagner moved news alerts in rapid succession for each defendant and all three collectively, beating local and national competition.

Savannah-based correspondent Bynum, reporting from the courtroom, had to file from his car throughout the trial because the federal judge prohibited electronics and cameras. After the verdict he immediately contributed to the spot story which was used by some 800 news outlets and had about 200,000 pageviews on apnews.com. He then turned his attention to producing a strong piece for the following day on how the convictions in both state and federal trials by predominantly white juries have raised hope of positive change in the community.

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