By Patty Leon and Lewis Levine.
Watch the VIDEO from the protest.
Wearing bright red T-shirts that had the words “Jackie Johnson misdeeds,” printed on them, organizers banded together in Brunswick this past weekend demanding that state attorney Chris Carr do his job and prosecute former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson.
On Sept. 2, Carr announced the indictment of the former District Attorney on charges of Violation of Oath of Public Officer and Obstruction of a Police Officer. As alleged in the indictment, these charges are related to the investigation surrounding the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Event organizer Thea Brooks, Arbery’s aunt, said several families who feel they’ve been wronged by Johnson are uniting to get the justice they deserve.
“We want to help them get justice for their loved ones,” she said.
She said her nephew was a big factor in changing, not only their community but changing the world.
“Ahmaud has opened up doors that have been shut for us for a very long time,” Brooks said.
She pointed out that her nephew’s death caused the state to abolish the citizens arrest law and implement a state hate crime bill.
“Now we have things that have been put in place to serve families, not only like mine but so many others who are faced with injustices on a daily basis,” Brooks said.
Brooks said she will continue to advocate for families who know their cases were mishandled and something should be done.
Edward Rayner said his brother Kelsey Rayner Sr., died while he was in jail. He said his brother had been sick for several days and denied treatment by the Correctional Officers. His brother’s colon ruptured, and he laid on the ground for seven hours vomiting up blood and excrement from his mouth, yet nothing was done. His brother eventually died.
“He died from neglect,” he said. “The guards didn’t do anything to help him.”
Rayner said Johnson didn’t prosecute anyone and he said it wasn’t properly investigated.
Mike Gilder talked about his stepson Jerrod Tyre killed in 2015. He said his stepson was celebrating his birthday at his home, which sat on seven acres. Gilder said the celebration included drinking with friends and shooting guns at cans and objects for target practice. Tyre got into an argument with his girlfriend, so she left the house and called police. A 40-minute standoff ensued.
Gilder insisted his stepson never threatened the officers with his gun, never pointed the gun at anyone and said there is video proof that the officers said they didn’t feel threatened.