HOUSTON, Texas – Pillars of the Houston community are now standing in solidarity with a group of Black pastors who are supporting the family of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man who was killed while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia.
Thursday afternoon, religious leaders in Houston came together at Mount Sinai Baptist Church, speaking out in response to a statement made by an attorney of a defendant in the Arbery killing trial.
That attorney, Kevin Gough, represents William ‘Roddie’ Bryan, the suspect who took the viral video of him and his neighbors, father-son duo Greg and Travis McMichaels, pursuing and shooting Arbery during his routine jog.
The McMichaels’ said they thought Arbery was a burglary suspect.
In court, Gough told a judge he didn’t want any more Black pastors in the courtroom after a local Reverend sat with Arbery’s family.
Houston-area pastors came together, saying Gough’s on-the-record comments to ban Black pastors was racist and unacceptable.
They also said with 11 of 12 jurors in that trial being Caucasian, it is not an accurate reflection of that county, which they said is problematic.
“We should be treated like human beings in the courtroom. And so we’re asking for definite and deliberate action in the name of justice. And until there’s justice for all, there can be justice for none,” Houston NAACP 2nd Vice President Bishop James Dixon II said.
Gough issued an apology in court to those who may have “inadvertently” been offended.
The defense attorneys rested their case Thursday. Black clergy in Georgia say they plan to continue voicing their dismay over the race-related problems surrounding the case.