Instead of the person most capable of standing up for those who are most vulnerable, they will install someone who is less capable of fighting for the rights of the most vulnerable.” According to a television news report, the Rev. Dr. Leonard Small, an African American civil rights activist, defended Mr. Gough at the time.
If the N.A.A.C.P.’s demands regarding the local justice system were not met, Mr. Gough threatened to go on a hunger strike.
The Arbery case, in which three of the killer’s pursuers went free for weeks after his death because of Ms. Johnson’s involvement, led to her being ousted from office last year. Gregory McMichael, a former employee of Ms. Johnson’s, was indicted this year on charges of obstruction of justice and violating her oath of office on the grounds that she showed “favour and affection” to him.
Many people were surprised when Mr. Gough appeared on CNN with his client, who had not yet been arrested, and interjected when anchor Chris Cuomo tried to ask Mr. Bryan questions about the case before Mr. Arbery’s death trial began.
The client has a high school diploma, which, if you’ve ever been to a local high school, isn’t saying much. In Mr. Gough’s words,
Mr. Gough released a statement three days before Mr. Bryan was arrested saying that his client, who had recorded the killing of Mr. Arbery on his phone, was only a witness to the shooting in February 2020.
As a result of Ben Crump’s and S. Lee Merritt’s calls for Bryan to be charged, Mr. Gough pleaded with them to stop, saying that they had made Mr. Bryan a “sitting duck” for reprisal attacks.
In his words, “killing the prosecution’s star witness will not help us bring Ahmaud’s killers to justice.”