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Ahmaud Arbery: Attorney Apologises After Wanting To Limit Black People In The Courtroom

by : Hannah Smith on : 13 Nov 2021 11:26
Ahmaud Arbery: Attorney Apologises After Wanting To Limit Black People In The CourtroomAlamy

A lawyer representing one of three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery has apologised after saying he didn’t want ‘any more Black pastors’ in the court room.

On Thursday, defence attorney Kevin Gough had objected to the presence of civil rights leader Al Sharpton, who attended the trial to support the family of Arbery, who was shot and killed while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia last year.

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‘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 – could be consciously or unconsciously – an attempt to pressure or influence the jury,’ Gough said.

Kevin Gough (Alamy)Alamy

The attorney added that while he had ‘nothing personally against’ Sharpton, he didn’t want ‘any more Black pastors coming in here or others, Jesse Jackson, whoever was in here earlier this week, sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence a jury in this case’.

Gough was referring to civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who has not been seen in court during the trial.

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In the wake of backlash over his comments, Gough issued a formal apology in court a day later, saying, ‘I will let the court know that if my statements yesterday were overly broad, I will follow up with a more specific motion on Monday putting those concerns in the proper context. And my apologies to anyone who might have inadvertently been offended.’

According to CNN, the apology came after Judge Timothy Walmsley said that he would not ‘blanketly exclude members of the public from this courtroom’.

Revd Al SharptonAlamy

In comments made during a prayer vigil earlier this week, Reverend Sharpton called Arbery’s death ‘a lynching in the 21st century’, saying, ‘You still can’t jog through Brunswick without being shot down, like you are a suspect, only because of the colour of your skin.’

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Gough’s comments came less than a week after the judge said that he believed the defence had been discriminatory in its selection of jurors for the trial, with only one Black person sitting on the 12-man jury.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, Ahmaud Arbery, Georgia, Now

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CNN
  1. CNN

    'We don't want any more Black pastors coming in here,' says defense attorney in Arbery death trial