Protesters, church groups gather in support of peace, unity during trial for murder of Ahmaud Arbery

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — From Chicago to Philadelphia, dozens of people across the country showed up holding “Justice for Ahmaud” signs outside the Glynn County Courthouse in support of Ahmaud Arbery’s family.

One by one, people gathered during a peaceful protest chanting Ahmaud’s name.

“We’re hoping that justice is served here for the families. All of us are here to support the Arbery family,” Maureen Forte, a supporter from Chicago, said.

JACKSONVILLE NEWS: Man found dead inside The Salvation Army shelter in downtown Jacksonville

Beverely Green made the 17-hour long drive from Chicago too, just to be here for day one of the jury selection.

“This is 2021. At some point, this has to stop, you know, killing young kids for no reason,” Green said.

With emotions running high on both sides, local church groups also met outside the courthouse in song, to ease any tension and echo the message of peace and unity during trial.

STORY: Trash has been outside Westside Jacksonville home for months, neighbors say

“I have a family myself, a young son and so it was important for me to be here to set an example, a tone for him to feel like Brunswick is a safe place to grow up and to live,” Rev. DeWayne Cope, of the St. Athanasius Episcopal Church, said.

Forte said one thing she’s hopes will come out of this trial is change, not just in Georgia, but everywhere.

“This is nationwide, this is nationwide, this situation here. You’re killed running while Black. You’re killed sitting in your car while Black. You’re killed while standing in the group while Black,” Forte said.

Cope said the Glynn County congregation will be outside the courthouse for the rest of the week, offering people a safe space to gather and talk during the trial.

To read more about the murder case, click here.