ST. LOUIS–What do you do when the eyes of the nation are trained on your hometown because of tensions surrounding a murder trial?
If you’re St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, you feed people.
Jurors in the trial of the three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery must decide whether one or all of them is guilty of murder — a conviction that could send them to prison for the rest of their lives.
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael are accused of grabbing guns and pursuing Ahmaud Arbery in a pickup truck after seeing the 25-year-old Aubrey man running in their neighborhood in the Georgia port city of Brunswick in February 2020. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan recorded cellphone video as he joined the pursuit before Aubrey was shot and killed.
On Thursday, hundreds of pastors both rallied and prayed Thursday outside the trial, gathering in response to a defense lawyer’s bid to keep Black ministers out of the courtroom.
Many carried signs reading, “Black pastors matter,” and some wore buttons with Arbery’s picture and the hashtag they were using for the case, “#JusticeForAhmaud.” A vendor sold T-shirts under one tent while a woman under another offered water and snacks and asked people to put donations in a pickle jar.
A group of businesses in Brunswick and surrounding Glynn County joined together to provide a lunch of free barbecue sandwiches, shrimp and side dishes before the pastors rallied. Organizer Mike Mally said the group wanted to show that the community was united, not divided by race.
“We figured this was a good thing to do with all these visitors,” Mally said.
Among those helping out was Wainwright, the Brunswick native who has long been outspoken about his faith and serving others.