BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) — In a town of just over 16,000 people, national attention doesn’t come around every day. But Brunswick, Georgia, is at the heart of a nationwide racial reckoning, and it’s hitting close to home for nearly everyone.
“There was a lot of people in an uproar about it, and justifiably, so you know what I’m saying. It was a terrible situation that just happened to happen in our community,” said Jacob Boyd, a lifelong Brunswick resident.
“I’ve actually got a buddy who got picked to be on the jury for it. It’s kinda crazy that everyone kinda knows someone that’s connected to the trial and whatnot,” Boyd added.
A thousand jurors were called to the Glynn County Courthouse Monday morning for jury selection in the murder trial of 25-year old Ahmaud Arbery.
In Brunswick, locals are already noticing everything that will come along with a trial of this magnitude.
“Now we’re gonna get put on the map. Hopefully, it’s for the better, I’m not sure but I’ve definitely seen more of a presence of people here and I’m sure we’ll see more of an influx in the next few weeks here just because of how big this trial has gotten,” says Boyd.
Locals say they’ve noticed an increased police presence around the town for several days now, along with hoards of media attention. Many expect protests to follow in the coming weeks and hope that doesn’t bring harm to the town itself.
“I believe a lot of groups will come to the area and rightfully protest and express their feelings like they did last year, you know, when everything was starting to happen but I think all the bad groups that just want to come and exploit a situation just to cause damage or to interpret it the wrong way, I think the community will kinda keep them out,” said Chris Gantt, owner of Reid’s Apothecary.
“We have a really strong local community and I think they’ll police it more than the actual police force as well. I think the police force will do a good job also though,” Gantt said.
Brunswick residents hope the city can be painted in a positive light, and be remembered for its resilience.
“There’s a lot more to this area than what these guys did to a young kid, and I think that this now is the time for us to shine and this is what we should be put on the map for, making justice right and serving justice the correct way,” explained Gantt.