Questions revolve around race as jury selection gets underway in Ahmaud Arbery murder case

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Jury selection is underway for the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery.

So far, 20 out of a potential 1,000 jurors are still being questioned with the jury selection process starting around 1 p.m. Monday.

Channel 2′s Tony Thomas went to Brunswick for the trial and was in the courtroom Monday. Views on race and justice were central themes in the questions attorneys were asking the potential jurors.

“Please raise your hand if you agree with this statement: Police in this country do not treat white and Black people equally?” defense attorney Jason Sheffield asked the potential jurors.

Crowds gathered outside the courthouse, most chanting support for Arbery’s family. Among them was Hildiah Martin-Suggs from metro Atlanta.

“If no justice for Ahmaud then what message is this sending to not only the state of justice, but the United States,” Martin-Suggs said.

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Arbury was killed last year as he ran through a neighborhood just outside of Brunswick.

Three men chased him down. One, Travis McMichael, struggled with Arbery, and then shot and killed him.

The men claim self-defense. Prosecutors say it was racially motived murder.

“Is there anyone here that will be unable to give the state a fair trial because the DA’s don’t live here?” Cobb County prosecutor Linda Dunokoski asked the potential jurors.

Dunokoski is leading the state’s case. She and three teams of defense lawyers are trying to choose 12 jurors and four backups in the highly publicized and controversial case.

Area ministers are working the crowds outside the courthouse, urging patience for several long weeks ahead.

“We wanted to make sure the tone of this trial is one of unity and peace, because that’s really how this whole community has reacted since this whole thing has begun,” said Tom Brudy with Christ Church Fredericka.

Arbery’s parents spoke at times Monday, insisting they will wait as long as they need to for justice for their son.

Thomas did not hear from prosecutors Monday, except for what was said in court.

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