Businesses preparing for influx of crowds as Arbery murder trial enters day 4 of jury selection

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 3:21 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WTOC) - Jury selection entered its fourth day in Brunswick, as the prosecution and defense try to find fair and impartial jurors to hear the case against three men charged in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Now, businesses around that area are preparing for potential crowds of demonstrators as the trial continues.

There’s been a group of several dozen people here since last Saturday, supported by the Transformative Justice Coalition, who have set up outside the courthouse entrance, but so far that’s been the only crowd.

During a recent town hall meeting, a group of law enforcement and elected leaders told us they’re working to ensure the safety of everyone throughout the trial process, peaceful demonstrators, residents and business owners included. We checked in with the local chamber of commerce about fielding any questions or concerns from Brunswick businesses, and they say they’ve encouraged people to speak up if they see anything that gives them concern.

Chamber of commerce leaders add they’re certain local leadership is prepared to address any problematic visitors. That sentiment is shared by a shop owner just a few blocks from the courthouse.

“No concern. I don’t expect anything to be disruptive. If they were to come maybe to eat next door, we have some restaurants across the street. Maybe to shop, I can’t imagine that’s on their minds right now. But I don’t expect any disruption, I expect everything to be peaceful,” aid Danielle Brazell, owner of The Rose & Vine.

Brazell says she did board up her business during protests in front of former district attorney Jackie Johnson’s office, but adds there wasn’t any damage to her store.

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