Local Clergy Call for Peace and Faith as Trial Begins | Local News
Nearly two dozen religious and religious leaders gathered outside the Glynn County Courthouse early Friday to call for peace and faith as opening statements begin in the trial of three white men charged with murder in the murder of a 25-year-old black man.
The gathering included Rabbi Rachael Bregman of Temple Beth Tifiloh and Reverend John Perry, director of the local NAACP.
Reverend Abra LaHaney-Reed said she spoke as a proud southerner to say that the community can lead the way in fostering greater understanding among the diverse population of the country.
While expressing her disappointment at being selected by a jury that includes only one black man, she has faith in the process and a higher power.
“Although justice is blind, God is not,” she said after the gathering dispersed and opening statements were ready to begin in a second floor courtroom. “We have to remind people. And we, as southerners, can be leaders in the world to show what reconciliation looks like, to show what unity looks like.
“I’m glad the jury is sitting here. Am I satisfied with the way it was presented? Not really. But we want to remind the community and those affected that God has a plan. “
Travis McMichael, 35, Gregory McMichael, 65, and William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, are charged with murder and other counts in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery on a public street in the neighborhood of Satilla Shores on February 23, 2020. Travis McMichael shot unarmed Arbery three times at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun after he and his co-defendants chased Arbery in pickup trucks as he drove through the neighborhood for several minutes.
The defense claims that Arbery died as a result of self-defense during the arrest of a citizen. Prosecutors claim Arbery was murdered while jogging. All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.