Hundreds of Black pastors gather at Arbery trial after lawyer's comments

Hundreds of Black pastors gathered at the Ahmaud Arbery trial on Thursday following comments made by a defense attorney, The Associated Press reports.

"We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here," defense attorney Kevin Gough said last week, objecting to the Rev. Al Sharpton's presence at the trial.

In a show of solidarity against the comments, Black pastors formed a "Wall of Prayer" outside the Glynn County courthouse. Many carried signs displaying messages of protest, including "Black pastors matter."

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"No lawyer can knock us out. Because no matter where you are, God is there," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, according to the AP. "We are going to keep coming until we get justice."

Other pastors echoed Jackson's sentiments. Jamal H. Bryant, a pastor from Georgia, called Gough's comments "absolutely unnecessary and distracting and polarizing," per CNN.

Bryant added, "He specified by saying 'Black pastors' which made it an absolutely amplified racist statement."
 
Gough, an attorney for William "Roddie" Bryan, one of the white men charged with murdering Arbery in February of 2020, issued an apology after his comments sparked backlash.
 
"My apologies to anyone who might have inadvertently been offended," he said, in part.