Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley has ruled that citizens carrying "Justice For Ahmaud [Arbery]" signs and wearing "Justice For Ahmaud" t-shirts can remain outside the Glynn County courthouse during the jury selection process. While dozens of supporters have shown up outside the courthouse throughout the jury selection process, Walmsley stated that it has been "relatively quiet on the courthouse steps."
“I will note, when I came in this morning, I didn’t see anyone. In fact, it has been relatively quiet on the courthouse steps,” Walmsley said, according to News 4 Jax.
“There have been individuals that have come over the last week or so. I have checked in with the sheriff a couple of times just to make sure we have not been having any issues that would cause the court concern. No reported arrests. No issues.”
Walmsley's ruling comes after William "Roddy" Bryan's defense attorney, Kevin Gough, argued that supporters carrying signs outside of the courthouse are making an “effort to intimidate or influence the jury.”
“From this day forward we need to restrict the access to the jurors in this case,” Gough argued, according to News 4 Jax.
“(They are) stoking fears in the Black community of an all-white jury.”
In response, Arbery's aunt, Ruby, points out that those who have stood outside the courthouse have done so in "peace" and "love."
“We not doing nothing out here to hurt nobody," she said.
“Everything we doing out here is for justice, peace, love and support.”
With debates over what is going on outside of the courthouse settled, more attention can be paid toward what is going on inside of the courthouse. Several reports have detailed how difficult it is to find jurors to participate in the trial of the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Often times, potential jurors are dismissed because they have already come to conclusion about the guilt or innocence of Bryan, George McMichael and Travis McMichael. In other instances, potential jurors are dismissed because they may know Arbery, Bryan or the McMichaels personally. Thus far, 32 potential jurors have been moved into the group of 64 jurors that the defense and prosecution will choose the final group of 12 from. Initial reports suggested that the jury selection process could take up to two weeks. However, the slow pace of the process could extend it into a third week.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.