Arbery family, neighbors plead with demonstrators to stay peaceful ahead of jury deliberations

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Demonstrations continued Monday after the defense rested its closing argument in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial.

Armed protesters with the New Black Panther Party and Lion of Judah Armed Forces have since joined in demonstrations.

Some members had a brief interaction with the defense attorneys outside court.

>>More on the killing of Ahmaud Arbery

“There’s people out here trying to get the First Amendment out,” a protester said. Their goal is to defend that right.” One of the defense attorneys replied, “We believe in that too.”

In a statement to Action News Jax, the Glynn Unified Command said officials are “aware of the presence of groups of armed protesters and continues to monitor and engage in dialogue with those exercising their constitutional rights. We want to assure the public that we have adequate resources available to respond to any contingencies, but at this time we have no reason to believe that there will be anything other than the peaceful assemblies we’ve been seeing throughout the trial.”

Last week, hundreds of Black pastors came to Brunswick and held a prayer vigil and march to Arbery’s mural.

After closing arguments Monday, Marcus Arbery told reporters, “We’re going to keep this thing nonviolent, because that’s what they want. We can’t get on their level. We want justice.”

Some neighbors told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant that they have anxiety going into jury deliberations, which are expected to begin Tuesday.

“Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned, and I hope people will accept the verdict and not tear their town apart,” Angelo Norfleet, who was born in Brunswick, said. “This is your town, this is where you live — don’t destroy it.”

STORY: Investigation into fatal stabbing between teens in Orange Park neighborhood continues

Glynn Unified command said it has not received any additional permits for protests in either the county or city as of Monday.