Clergy Members Urge Community to Remain Peaceful During Trial Over Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Clergy members asked the community to remain peaceful despite their unhappiness that a nearly all-white jury had been seated in the trial of the white men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man.,

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‘We serve a God who is not asleep’: Clergy urges unity for Ahmaud Arbery’s family

John Davis Perry II, a local minister, center, with other clergy members at Glynn County Superior Court on Friday. “We want to acknowledge that we hear and that we see your disappointment with some of the discoveries in the process of justice that have taken place,” the pastor said. Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times
  • Nov. 5, 2021Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

A group of clergy members gathered outside the Glynn County Superior Court in Brunswick, Ga., on Friday morning, urging the community to remain peaceful and united despite their unhappiness that a nearly all-white jury had been seated in the trial of the white men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man.

“We want to acknowledge that we hear and that we see your disappointment with some of the discoveries in the process of justice that have taken place,” said John Davis Perry II, a local minister. “Despite all of those disappointments, as faith leaders we stand together declaring to not forget that we serve a God who is not asleep.”

He added: “We want to encourage you to keep the faith and to continue to walk in the spirit of unity because God has promised that he will be with us through the process.”

Mr. Arbery’s aunt, Thea Brooks, said that having clergy members present had brought a measure of peace to the Arbery family and the Brunswick community.

Ms. Brooks said she anticipated that having to see the video of Mr. Arbery’s killing, which occurred on Feb. 23, 2020, would be especially difficult for her family. Mr. Arbery’s mother, who is in the courtroom, had not yet seen the video, she said.

But Ms. Brooks said she was ready for the trial to begin.

“It’s been almost two years that we’ve been here, we’ve been having to watch the video, hear the motions, go through preliminary hearings, in and out of court for motions and that takes a toll on you,” she said. “Now that we’re here, we just want this to be a smooth situation, get it done, get it over with, get justice served so we can move on and close this chapter of our lives.”

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