Hundreds of pastors both rallied and prayed Thursday outside the trial of three White men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, gathering in response to a defense lawyer’s bid to keep Black ministers out of the courtroom, reports ABC News.
As testimony resumed inside the Glynn County courthouse, with its four huge columns, arched windows and shaded lawn, a group of mostly Black ministers gathered outside — a sea of dark suits and white collars.
Many carried signs reading, “Black pastors matter,” and some wore buttons with Arbery’s picture and the hashtag they were using for the case, “#JusticeForAhmaud.” A vendor sold T-shirts under one tent while a woman under another offered water and snacks and asked people to put donations in a pickle jar.
The Rev. Al Sharpton announced the rally after a defense attorney intensified frustrations in the coastal Georgia community of Brunswick when he said he didn’t want “any more Black pastors” sitting in the courtroom with Arbery’s family.
As the crowd grew outside, the Rev. Jesse Jackson once again joined Arbery’s family in the courtroom. Criticizing the failed attempt to keep Black pastors out of court, Sharpton told the rally that no one had questioned who is sitting with the defendants’ families.
“No lawyer can knock us out. Because no matter where you are, God is there,“ he said. “We are going to keep coming until we get justice.”
Martin Luther King III, son of slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., addressed the throng saying, “It only takes a few good women and men to bring change.”