‘Black pastors’ should not be in court, according to a lawyer for a white man accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS), by Shaddi Abusaid and Bill Rankin
THE CITY OF BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA
— An attorney for one of the three men charged in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery made an unusual request Thursday afternoon, asking the judge hearing the case to ban Black pastors from the courtroom gallery.
Kevin Gough, who represents William “Roddie” Bryan, told the judge before the jury returned from their lunch break, “We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here.”
During the widely publicized, racially charged trial, the Brunswick attorney for the man who recorded the cellphone video of Arbery’s death has repeatedly criticized the ongoing demonstrations on courthouse grounds.
Gough was referring to the Rev.
Al Sharpton, who attended some of Wednesday’s court proceedings and held a prayer vigil outside the courthouse at lunchtime,
Sharpton criticized the nearly all-white jury that heard the case during his remarks on the courthouse steps, calling it “an insult to the intelligence of the American people.”
Gough told Judge Timothy Walmsley that the presence of “high-profile members of the African American community” on the jury was “intimidating” to the jurors.
“The right Rev,” Gough said while cross-examining a witness.
Gough added that he had “nothing personal” against Sharpton and that he didn’t realize he was in the courtroom until Wednesday evening.
“As far as I know, Al Sharpton does not have a church in Glynn County,” he said.
“It’s never happened before.”
“The idea that we’re going to bring these people in one by one to sit with the victim’s family, obviously there are so many pastors they have,” he added.
Right now, there’s Al Sharpton, who is fine.
But that’s the end of it.
“We don’t want any more Black pastors to come in.”
Gough then made a strange reference to Kentucky Fried Chicken’s founder.
“If a bunch of people came in here dressed as Colonel Sanders and sat in the back with white masks on, that would be—” The judge cut him off quickly.
Gough then told Walmsley that he needed to take “appropriate steps” to.
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