Statement from Dr. Jamal Bryant, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and leading organizer of recent prayer vigil and demonstration with 500 faith leaders in Brunswick
Today’s guilty verdicts are an important step forward for justice and accountability in this state and in this country. We cannot tolerate vigilante justice, especially when it is rooted in prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance. The prosecutors are to be applauded for putting forth strong and undeniably clear evidence while operating with a high level of professionalism and wisdom in this highly visible case.
Ultimately, we know that this does little to replace the void this family feels at the loss of this young man under the most tragic of circumstances, but we hope that the legacy of Ahmaud Arbery will be that at this defining moment in our history, a community came together to say ‘enough’. This family, this community and faith leaders from across the region and the country took a stand for Ahmaud and a stand for justice, realizing that this time had to be different, and it was up to us to make it so. We are grateful in this moment and still we mourn the loss of Ahmad’s potential for greatness and the impact he was destined to have on this world.
At the heart of this moment, we embrace this glimmer of justice served in this verdict but realize our efforts cannot cease as we work to uproot systemic racism in our nation.
-Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, senior pastor – New Birth Missionary Baptist Church