The lawyer for defendant William “Roddie” Bryan in Ahmaud Arbery‘s murder trial is claiming that he and his team aren’t comfortable having certain community members in court during the hearing.
This comes after Al Sharpton attended the trial this week to “console” Arbery’s family.
Kevin Gough, who represents Roddie, whined to the judge that bringing black pastors into the courtroom is “intimidating.”
“I’ve got nothing personally against Mr. Sharpton,” the lawyer claimed. “If we’re going to start a precedent, starting yesterday, where we’re going to bring high-profile members of the African-American community into the courtroom to sit with the family during the trial in the presence of the jury, I believe that’s intimidating and it’s an attempt to pressure.”
The defendant’s lawyer continued explaining his displeasure over the situation, saying, “If their pastor is Al Sharpton right now, that’s fine, but then that’s it” before he went on to add, “We don’t want any more black pastors coming in here.”
Gough also namedropped famous minister Jesse Jackson, who he claims was in the courtroom “earlier this week sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence the jury in this case.” Although, he admitted that he wasn’t sure if it was actual Jesse.
According to reports, Jackson had never attended the trial. Still, the lawyer might have mistaken him with an African-American lawyer Ben Crump was in court earlier this week to represent Arbery’s father.
In response to the lawyer’s statement, Sharpton fired back at Gough by calling him “arrogant.”
“The arrogant insensitivity of attorney Kevin Gough in asking a judge to bar me or any minister of the family’s choice underscores the disregard for the value of the human life lost and the grieving of a family in need spiritual and community support,” he stressed.
The minister also defended Arbery’s parents, saying, “they have the right to be consoled by anyone” before noting he does “respect the defense attorney doing his job,” however the comments were “insulting the family of the victim.”
“Roddie” was one of the three men accused of killing Arbery, along with father and son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael. They were hit with multiple charges, including murder, concerning Arbery’s tragic death.
The 25-year-old was jogging when he was chased and gunned down by the men who suspected him of burglary. On Thursday, the jury watched a surveillance video showing Arbery roaming a home that was under construction before running and meeting his tragic death.
The three men have pled not guilty to the killing of Arbery, claiming they were trying to conduct a lawful citizen’s arrest.
Meanwhile, Sharpton held a prayer vigil outside the Glynn County Courthouse on Wednesday for Arbery, stating, “What has happened in this case is a lynching in the 21st century.”