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Glynn Co. Unified Command hold town hall meeting to discuss safety measures in place for upcoming Arbery trial

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:17 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WTOC) - We’re days away from the beginning of the Ahmaud Arbery trial in Brunswick. Law enforcement and local leaders in Glynn County held a town hall meeting Thursday night to talk to residents about how they’ve been preparing for the crowds that could accompany the trial.

About three dozen members of the media, community and law enforcement agencies gathered at the Brunswick Library to discuss and asked questions about what plans law enforcement had in place for the upcoming trial.

Jury selection begins Monday, October 18.

City and county leaders answered several questions from residents and the media. Business owners and concerned parents like Terri Bennett asked about how law enforcement is handling child safety.

“This is the first time we’ve dealt with something to the scale,” said Bennett. As the mayor alluded to, we deal with hurricanes and issues with traffic and getting into the county, but this is something that is completely different for our small community and it really has rocked us to the core.”

Bennett has two children at a school in downtown Brunswick. The Brunswick Police Chief said they met with school district leaders today and would be in touch with Unified Command throughout the trial. After Thursday night’s meeting, Bennett is confident police and school staff will be in touch with parents and keep kids safe.

Unified Command emphasized that the law enforcement around the area during the trial would be local.

“We’re not going to have federal officers running around and the national guard running around,” said Glynn County Police Department Captain Jeremiah Bergquist. “This is local in our community and we feel up to the task to handle the challenge and we’re humbled for that opportunity and take great pride in that.

Unified Command says two assembly permits have been filed by two different groups. They say one is a “justice coalition group” and the other is a group of local residents. There is no curfew in place at this time. City and county leaders say groups wanting to gather mean no harm.

A member of the Arbery family was also at tonight’s meeting to encourage the community to come together ahead of the trial.

“All we’re asking for is justice for Ahmaud,” said Arbery’s Aunt Diann Jackson. “I don’t want anybody to feel like they got to be scared in our community. We’ve been here all of our lives. You know what I’m saying? And I don’t want people to feel like they’ve got to be scared. Ain’t nothing going to happen here. We’re going to get justice go ahead...This is going be something that we’re going to live with the rest of our lives... this is the day we’re going to never forget.”

The Mayor of Brunswick says road closures will be minimal.

Unified Command says they’ll provide updates on detours, closures and more on their social media pages and website.

View a complete timeline of the Ahmaud Arbery case below:

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