Rev. Al Sharpton plans visit for murder trial of Ahmaud Arbery

The civil rights leader called Arbery’s death a ‘21st century lynching’
Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton plans to attend the murder trial for Ahmaud Arbery at the...
Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton plans to attend the murder trial for Ahmaud Arbery at the family's request.(WTOC)
Published: Oct. 24, 2021 at 10:01 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton plans to visit for the murder trial of Ahmaud Arbery.

At the family’s request, Sharpton said he will be there to show support.

“The local activists in Brunswick, we’re there to support them not supplant them. They’ve been diligent,” he said. “We aren’t taking over because they have kept the fire burning even when the national media wasn’t there. But we see the Arbery case as a 21st century lynching and we want justice. We are not satisfied just with the verdict in Minneapolis. We want a verdict in Brunswick. We want justice.”

Sharpton spoke about his plans to support the Arbery family after he gave a sermon in Savannah during a worship service to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the St. Paul C.M.E. Church, a historically black church. During a news briefing, he gathered with Ahmaud Arbery’s mother and father, Arbery family attorney Lee Merritt and local pastors to talk about his support for the family.

“As these faith leaders stand as they’ve stood through the ages - 150 year anniversary of a church that slaves founded - that we wanted these parents to worship with use today and have strength,” Sharpton said.

Jury selection for the murder trial continues Monday.

Three men are charged with felony murder in the shooting death of Arbery on Feb. 23 of 2020 in a Brunswick area neighborhood. They are father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Roddie Bryan Jr. They face a number of other charges in connection to his death.

According to the defense, the McMichaels believed Arbery was a burglar after they saw him enter a home under construction in the neighborhood and then tried to detain him under Georgia’s citizens arrest law. The law has since been repealed.

Prosecutors have said Arbery took nothing and was out for a jog that day when the men chased him in their pickups with guns before Travis shot and killed Arbery during a struggle over Travis’ shotgun.

Last week - the defense and prosecuting attorneys qualified 23 potential jurors out of a jury pool of hundreds.

The defense says it wants to qualify 64 potential jurors before it works to seat 12 jurors with four alternates.

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