Brunswickers hope for peace and justice ahead of trial

Residents said they didn’t think residents would cause any problems during or after the trial, but said people from out of town could.

BRUNSWICK, Georgia – Less than a week before the men charged with Ahmaud Arbery’s death stand trial, community members in the small town of Brunswick, Georgia, said they hoped things remained peaceful throughout the length of the trial. They also said, however, that they were ready for anything.

Expectations regarding the trial of the accused Arbery assassins have been mounting in Brunswick for more than a year.

“I think the last year and a half has been a very difficult time for this community,” said Jeremy Ekberg, a resident. “I think we all want justice done, no matter what it may bring,” he said.

Ekberg said the national attention his city received was needed to open the case.

“It took, unfortunately, down to the national level, it took all of this attention just for us to do anything about the matter. So all of this media attention was surprising, but in the long run, very welcome.” , did he declare. noted.

Ekberg said he hopes peace will reign throughout the trial.

“I don’t think anyone wants anything other than that. We are a democracy and our voices are all equal, and I think it is good to express opinions on something so important to our community and our nation, ”he said.

Sheila Amick works on the street of the courthouse, where they laid new mulch this week ahead of trial. She said she would be working from home during the trial just in case.

“You always hear, you know, ‘they bring them in’,” she said. “Well, you know, I mean, I hope I don’t think the locals, the people who live in Glynn County, I think we’re proud of our county and our town. I don’t think the locals would do anything. If something bad happens, it must be someone who is not from here who is not proud of this community. Just, you know, here for trouble, ”Amick said.

Amick said everyone she spoke to in town wanted justice.

“It brings people together, and I think people want justice. They want, you know, a fair trial for everyone, ”she said.

“After watching the video, white, black, Spanish, you know, regardless of nationality, everyone I know is guilty. I mean, it’s just unfortunate, but it’s on tape. You know, it’s kind of hard to say, it didn’t happen, ”Amick said.

Travis Riddle, owner of Country Boy Cooking and mayoral candidate, grew up in Brunswick. He moved to Atlanta, then returned to help organize peaceful protests after Arbery’s death.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride, ups and downs. Over there right now we’re on that plateau with a roller coaster about to approach the cliff to climb up, so everyone’s adrenaline is bought again, excited about what’s going on or what will be the result, ”said Riddle.

Riddle said he hopes that whatever the outcome of the trial, he hopes his community stays together and stays peaceful.

“We have done our part as a community. We just have to let the law do what it’s going to do from here on out, ”Riddle said.

“My biggest thing is just to go out here in the community and talk with the locals to let them know that this is our hometown and we have to make sure we protect our hometown and ask that people from outside. the city keep the shenanigans out of the city and deal with it accordingly in our hometown, ”he said.

Riddle said he heard some companies were considering changing their hours or closing during the trial as a precaution.

He said he hopes that months and years after the trial, the residents of Brunswick will continue to be united.

“I would hate if something of this magnitude would happen to only come together for a short time, that we as a community could continue to be connected and work together on bigger projects and move forward towards a better future in the community. city, ”said Riddle.

Jury selection for the trial begins Monday.

About Michael C. Lovelace

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