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Rally, ride call for justice for Ahmaud Arbery ahead of trial

Mayor of Brunswick says demonstrators were exercising freedom to protest peacefully

Mayor of Brunswick says demonstrators were exercising freedom to protest peacefully.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Days before the national spotlight shines brightly on Brunswick, dozens gathered Saturday at the Glynn County Courthouse to call for justice and understanding ahead of the trial in the Ahmaud Arbery case.

Jury selection begins Monday for the trial of the three men charged with chasing and killing Arbery in February 2020.

In February of 2020, Greg and Travis McMichael, a father and son, chased Arbery in a pickup truck with weapons while Arbery jogged through their Satilla Shores neighborhood.

They have been charged in the killing of Arbery.

Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, is also accused of murder. He recorded cell phone video of the end of the chase.

People in Brunswick are anxious for the trial to start.

“This is my home,” said resident Betty Mackenzie. “This is my home. I love my town. It just needs a lot of changes.”

Brunswick resident Latayna Trottie said it’s all about the right thing being done at the trial.

“It’s about getting justice for what they did,” Trottie said.

RELATED: Timeline of Ahmaud Arbery case | Glynn County announces road closures due to trial

According to Glynn County Superior Court Clerk Ronald Adams, it could take two weeks or longer to pick a jury of 12 men and women to hear the case that has drawn national attention.

Before that process begins, demonstrators rallied Saturday at the courthouse, wearing shirts that said “Justice for Ahmaud” and carrying signs saying, “We are Peaceful Protestors.”

One of the speakers at the rally said, “Until we get justice for all of our Black and brown brothers and sisters, that’s when you’re going to see justice.”

“We need some of this to bring justice and understanding to this part of the state,” Brunswick resident Edwin Wilson said of Saturday’s rally. “The deep south is pretty rough on people of color.”

Many also rode motorcycles and cars Saturday near the courthouse in a community ride to honor Arbery.

Many also rode motorcycles and cars Saturday near the courthouse in a community ride to honor Ahmaud Arbery. (WJXT)

The mayor of Brunswick said all of those out Saturday were exercising their freedom to protest peacefully.

“They’re doing it peacefully and making the world understand that something horrific happened here,” Mayor Cornell Harvey said. “The community is seeking to bring change.”

Glynn County has also announced road closures due to the trial.

Starting Monday, Oct. 18, and continuing through the trial’s conclusion, Reynolds Street from G Street to I Street will be closed.

On Sunday, there will be a pre-trial prayer starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Glynn County Courthouse. The community is encouraged to attend.


About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.