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Local leaders and activists react to the Ahmaud Arbery verdict

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:01 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The news coming from the Ahmaud Arbery trial also hitting home in the capital city with local leaders and activists reacting to the news.

All eyes were on the Ahmaud Arbery trial Wednesday afternoon as communities across the nation held their breath as they awaited the verdict.

The McMichael’s and William Bryan were convicted on 23 of 27 counts, bringing a sense of closure to the community.

“This does help bring some kind of closure to a very serious issue when it comes to racial tensions in that community and all the communities,” exclaimed Bethel Missionary Baptist Church’s Reverend Dr. R.B. Holmes Jr.

Reverend Dr. Holmes spent some time in Brunswick during the trial and says he’s proud of how the jury handled it.

“I’m very encouraged with the jury. They looked at the facts and looked at the truth and came to the right decision,” said Reverend Dr. Holmes.

That decision giving proof that the justice system might be flawed, but it still works.

“You might refer to our justice system as this old house, you know it’s been around a while and there’s maybe a drafty window here, a creaky board there, a door that doesn’t lock over here or maybe a toilet that’s leaking,” explains WCTV’s legal analyst Joe Bodiford. “But it’s still sturdy and it still withstands the vicissitudes of this world.”

The verdict helping make those that protested after Abery’s death, feel like it was worth it.

“My thing is if we didn’t believe that change could come then we wouldn’t be out here the way we are and we believe that we can rise and we believe that we can lift up our community,” exclaimed Tallahassee Community Action Committee’s Trish Brown.

Brown says the fight continues for Arbery because he might be gone, but he won’t be forgotten.

“We will never let this be forgotten. Ahmaud Arbery’s name will always be remembered and we will continue to keep saying his name and continue to keep living his name up in remembrance,” shared Brown.

And as a black man who likes to frequently go on runs, Brandon says he sees himself in Ahmaud Arbery and it brings a weight off his shoulders to know that his family finally got justice.

The judge has not yet set a sentencing date as he says he hopes to give both sides time to prepare.

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