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Brunswick community, where Ahmaud Arbery died, tries to heal amid polarizing trial

Glynn County Commissioner says there are underlying issues within the county that he hopes will be brought to light during this trial as the community tries to heal.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The small coastal town of Brunswick, Georgia is anxiously waiting to see what's ahead as a national audience tunes into the trial of the three men charged with murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Glynn County Commissioner, Allen Booker is hopeful this trial brings to light the issues the county faces and in time also helps to bring about healing.

"I represent 90 percent of the city, a small part of the county but 100 percent of the poverty in this county," Booker said. "I'm almost 60/ I know I don't look like it, but my neighborhood has been impoverished for 60 years while the islands and other areas have flourished. There's something wrong with that picture."

Change is said to be inevitable and Booker continues to wait.

"If these guys are not brought to justice we're not sure what will happen because there's a lot of anger and it's been built up for years," Booker said.

He explains the tone overall is peaceful within Glynn County as jury selection gets underway and he’s hopeful that’s the way things will remain as Arbery’s family waits for what they deem to be right.

"I really am concerned about the folk on the jury," Booker said. "That's going to be critical in this and how they will see Ahmaud and how they would see the McMichaels. There are a number of people who think like the McMichaels. They believe they were justified."

While Booker looks at the overall climate and aims to change mindsets and improve his community, Marcus Arbery's focus is formed from family and loss.

"He was all by himself," Arbery said. "Three grown men older than him. He was all by himself. He didn't have a chance. No gun, no nothing. Y'all had guns and trucks and everything. He didn't have no chance. They didn't give him a chance. They didn't care about his life. They didn't give him a chance to live."

He was there throughout his son's life but not when he says Ahmaud needed him most.

"I was out working when my kid got killed," Arbery said. "I was driving big trucks. I was in Perry, Florida when my kid lost his life and I couldn't even get there to help him. "

Unfair regret, unbearable pain, and in the end, Arbery says, "I don't want to see those three guys ever walking these streets again."

The streets of Brunswick Booker says are filled with memories both good and bad, just and unjust.

"In the white community, in the black community there are folks who are really sincere about coming together to heal our place," Booker said. "We can't do something about the whole world but we can do something about Glynn County."