BRUNSWICK, Ga. — As the trial continues for the three men accused of murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, national media outlets are shining the spotlight on the Southeast Georgia community of Brunswick.
Three white men, Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan, are charged with murder in the death of Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man.
The tensions surrounding racial division have added to the national spotlight on the case, with some speculating the possibility of protests depending on the trial's outcome. In an interview with the Rev. Al Sharpton Wednesday night, an ABC News anchor stated there were "businesses boarded up in case of protests in Brunswick."
Are businesses boarding up in case of protests in Brunswick?
- First Coast News crews in Brunswick
- ABC News interview with the Rev. Al Sharpton
No, businesses in Brunswick are not boarded up amid the trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
WHAT WE FOUND
The anchor interviewing Sharpton was addressing the possibility of protests and violence in the wake of two trials: Arbery's accused killers and Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of gunning down demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"There are two trials really in the spotlight right now," the anchor said. "Businesses boarded up in case of protests in Brunswick, Georgia, and in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for Kyle Rittenhouse. Do you have any concerns, depending on these verdicts' outcomes, that it might rip open once again, the wounds surrounding racial division in this country?"
First Coast News crews in Brunswick were able to drive around Newcastle Street, the city's main business thoroughfare and determine there were no businesses boarded up.
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Sharpton responded that he was hopeful neither trial's outcome would result in violence, but redirected the question back to the alleged victims in both cases.
"Let's not talk about the violence that may happen. Let's talk about the violence they did, the killing of Ahmaud and the killing of two men and wounding of another in Kenosha," Sharpton said in the interview. "So before we forecast what might happen, let's do justice to the violence. It did happen."
The Rittenhouse trial is currently awaiting a verdict. Jurors are deliberating whether Rittenhouse is guilty of murder in the shooting of two protestors in the aftermath of the August 2020 police shooting of Jacob Blake. That demonstration was part of the larger racial unrest across the United States during the summer of 2020. Rittenhouse claims he acted in self-defense.