Some San Diegans said on Wednesday that they were happy Ahmaud Arbery's family can feel that justice was served but that they have mixed emotions about the verdict themselves.
All three white men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice.
"If anything, it shows how fickle the system is and the fact that so many of us weren't sure whether or not there would be a guilty verdict and the fact that so many people are celebrating that there was a guilty verdict in this case where people were literally hunting down a black man jogging is, in itself, an indictment of the system," said Khalid Alexander, a community activist and founder of Pillars of the Community, a local nonprofit.
Others wonder if a guilty verdict would have been the result if there hadn't been video evidence.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
"If there wasn’t any film footage, I think things could have gone the opposite way real quick," said Tau Baraka at the World Famous Imperial Barber Shop in Encanto.
Baraka and Alexander said there needs to be real, systemic change before they can say that progress is being made when it comes to racial justice.
"What's happening to the district attorney that tried to cover for the case?" Alexander wondered. "What's happening to the police that coddled these murderers and comforted these murderers after killing an unarmed black man in the south? When we start talking about accountability for those people as well and we start talking about accountability that allowed for these white men to think that they could get away with murder, then maybe we can begin to start having a conversation about justice."
"It has to happen from everyone," Baraka said. "Everyone has to put forth the effort to try to make these changes. We do have people who want to make changes and see changes, but it also has to come from our Caucasian brothers and sisters, the ones who are standing by and not saying anything. They're going to have to push the envelope just as hard as we push the envelope."