“If their pastor’s Al Sharpton right now, that’s fine. But then that’s it. We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here … sitting with the victim’s family, trying to influence a jury in this case,” Gough said.
Kevin Gough, William “Roddie” Bryan’s lawyer, spoke to the judge and voiced his objections to the presence of civil rights leaders like Reverend Al Sharpton in the courtroom as “intimidation” during the trial of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery on November 11th. Reverend Sharpton attended the trial that day of Wednesday, November 10th, 2021, in Brunswick, Georgia, and conducted a prayer vigil with his parents outside of the courthouse.
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 of spiritual and community support. My attendance yesterday and in the days to come is not disruptive in any way and was at the invitation of the family of Ahmaud Arbery who have stated that publicly. The only way I could have been identified as a member of the ministry is if I was recognized for my public position and leadership. How else would the defense attorney know who was a “black pastor” or not?… – Reverend Al Sharpton
The judge presiding over the case, Judge Timothy Walmsley, stated that he will not be making any “blanket rules” over the attendance of the public in the courtroom, and that Reverend Sharpton’s presence was not a “distraction to the proceedings.”
This objection was clearly pointed at me and a disregard to the fact that a mother and father sitting in a courtroom with 3 men that murdered their son do not deserve the right to have someone present to give spiritual strength to bear this pain. This is pouring salt into their wounds. I respect the defense attorney doing his job but this is beyond defending your client, it is insulting the family of the victim. – Reverend Al Sharpton