“Today, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan were found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery, after trying to claim this act was out of self defense. This guilty verdict was the only appropriate conclusion to the Arbery family’s fight for justice. Ahmaud was a young man out for a jog who was targeted due to the simple fact that he was Black and the echoes of privilege and agency of supremacist behavior. I find it difficult to celebrate one victory of justice while numerous others are forgotten due to the corruption, cronyism and abuse of power in our justice system. I hope that this verdict and his life are immortalized in our society as a reminder that our activism and calls for action worked. Everyone deserves the freedom to live out a healthy and full life and I remain committed to seeking reforms which will ensure that.”

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Michele Rayner is the State Representative for Florida House District 70. Born and raised in Pinellas County, Michele is a widely respected civil rights attorney and social justice advocate. She is a trial attorney at Denmon Pearlman Law. Prior to joining Denmon Pearlman, Ms. Rayner served as an Assistant Public Defender and Legislative Aide. Ms. Rayner earned her B.S. in Political Science and International Affairs and M.S. in International Affairs from Florida State University and her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law. Prior to her election to the state house, Michele served as local counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense fund. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Fred G. Minnis Bar Association and the NAACP. Michele and her wife, Bianca, live in St. Petersburg, Florida with their dogs.

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