The Savannah Alliance of Pastors invited Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. to attend a 3 p.m. (EST) press conference on Sunday, November 14th, at the St. Paul CME Church, 1601 Barnard St., Savannah, GA, to bring national attention to the concerns of racial injustices in Savannah, Georgia and the need for reforms in the criminal justice system.
Following the press conference, at 4 p.m. was a public rally held at the church.
Attorney Robert Patillo, who organized the press conference and who is the executive director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s Peachtree Project in Atlanta, said, “We appreciate the Savannah Alliance of Pastors for inviting Rev. Jackson to bring national attention to the concerns of racial injustice here in Savannah, Georgia.
The clergy listed some of the injustices as being the jury selection that resulted in a mostly white jury and one black, gerrymandered redistricting, government-sanctioned voter suppression, a surging prison population, a negligent refusal to expand Medicare and the Arbery trial.
“We hope that Rev. Jackson’s presence helped bring comfort to the Arbery family and ultimately bring justice” in the case of William Bryan, Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael who are facing murder charges, aggravated assault and false imprisonment in the February 2020 death of 25-year-old Arbery.
Their press conference comes three days after Defense Attorney Kevin Gough, who represents one of three white men on trial for murdering Arbery, objected to high profile ministers being in the courtroom like Rev. Al Sharpton and said in open court…, ”We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here.”
Gough then singled out Rev. Jackson, who was not in the courtroom, among others he said may have been present and accused them of “trying to influence the jury in this case.” Rev. Jackson’s response was, “I’ll be in the courtroom next week.”