Credit: Safiya Mann

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — An attorney for one of the white men standing trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery told the judge Thursday he doesn’t want “any more Black pastors” in the courtroom after the Rev. Al Sharpton sat with the slain man’s family.

Kevin Gough represents William “Roddie” Bryan, who along with father and son Greg and Travis McMichael is charged with murder and other crimes in Arbery’s Feb. 23, 2020, killing. The 25-year-old Black man was chased and fatally shot after the defendants spotted him running in their neighborhood outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick.

Gough told Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley that he was concerned Sharpton’s presence in court Wednesday was an attempt to intimidate the disproportionately white jury hearing the case. The jury was not in the courtroom when he made the remarks.

“Obviously there’s only so many pastors they can have,” Gough said. “And if their pastor’s Al Sharpton right now that’s fine, but then that’s it. We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here … sitting with the victim’s family, trying to influence the jurors in this case.”

Jason Sheffield, one of Travis McMichael’s lawyers, told the judge he didn’t notice any distractions caused by Sharpton, who sat in the back row of the courtroom gallery wearing a mask.

Gough said he didn’t realize Sharpton had been there until after court had adjourned for the day.

“You weren’t even aware of it until later?” the judge said. “I’m not sure what we’re doing.”

Sharpton held a prayer vigil and news conference outside the Glynn County courthouse Wednesday afternoon to show support for Arbery’s family. Afterward he joined Arbery’s parents and their lawyers to listen to portions of the trial testimony.

Sharpton said in a statement that Gough’s remarks showed “arrogant insensitivity.”

“I respect the defense attorney doing his job,” Sharpton said, “but this is beyond defending your client, it is insulting the family of the victim.”

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4 Comments

  1. Father God Please Forgive Them, At the Same Time Let Justice Roll On Like A River, Righteousness Like A never-failing Stream

  2. kevin G. the lawyer for roddie B is really showing the case that the D.A. offices is presenting is showing that Mr,. Amaude A. was killed because of his color, the lawyer Kevin G, is very much into people of color at all, given what was said about black pastors not africa americans, but black pastors.

    Wowww!!!!! we are still living in those days, folks like them due not want change, they want dividing us. please VOTE to make changes.

  3. And the case of the rittenhouse he need to be found quilty of some of those charges, because if not he will grow on to be a killer, he has that perpensity for it he got his first kill not one but two, and shot a 3rd person, and the defense had him to put on that fake breaking down please if he get off he will be celebrating with the proud boys, he should have been home and his mother making sure he gets and high school education, the boy is a wanna be saddd just go to school kyle be a kid not grow to fast. ooops ur already an adult killer.

  4. yesss he is quilty of a crime he wasnt old enough to bare that fire arm, and personally he took the weapon with out permission because he wanted to go due what he did, he made the statement on recording putting his self in matters that are not his I wish I had my F—— MR 15 I will shoot bullites all around them .

    mom you should have made him stay home folks would still be living toda, he has to take some responsilbilty.

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