Supporters of Ahmaud Arbery’s Family Keep Watch Outside the Courthouse

Supporters said that they were anxious but optimistic that the jury would find the three defendants guilty of murder.,

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Outside the courthouse, supporters of Ahmaud Arbery’s family keep watch.

Tariro Mzezewa

Nov. 22, 2021, 1:01 p.m. ET

Nov. 22, 2021, 1:01 p.m. ET

Brenda Barfield carried what she calls the Knew Glory flag -- a flag akin to the American flag, but with brown and black stripes, white and red stars. She said this flag is more inclusive of all Americans.
Brenda Barfield carried what she calls the Knew Glory flag — a flag akin to the American flag, but with brown and black stripes, white and red stars. She said this flag is more inclusive of all Americans.Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times

Supporters of the Arbery family who had gathered outside the courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., during closing arguments in the trial on Monday said that they were anxious but optimistic that the jury would find the three defendants guilty of murder.

“I feel confident we will get justice for Ahmaud — but if we don’t, it won’t be a surprise,” said Antwhon Suiter, president of the Shenandoah Valley chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Mr. Suiter is one of several activists who have traveled to Brunswick several times during the trial. On this trip, he was joined by a handful of other supporters from Virginia. He said that if the trial ends in acquittal, it will be another example of the justice system not serving African Americans.

Members of the New Black Panther Party, wearing black berets and uniforms, walked around the courthouse at midday. When Marcus Arbery, Mr. Arbery’s father, arrived with Mark Baker, a Brunswick pastor, the group led supporters in chanting Ahmaud Arbery’s name.

For Brenda Barfield, the trial was an opportunity to support Wanda Cooper Jones, Mr. Arbery’s mother. Ms. Barfield said she arrived in Brunswick on Sunday night from the Orlando, Fla., area, traveling with one of her sons.

“I am a Black mother to two sons, and I believe that change needs to be made in this country,” she said. “Solutions need to be discussed, and monumental problems need to be solved.”

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