GBI Press Conference

The press conference regarding Arbery shooting at DNR headquarters yesterday

Dear Larry Hobbs:

Thank you for your detailed coverage in the Brunswick News today of the press conference yesterday outside the headquarters of the Department of Natural Resources. Below you will find one of a number of cell-phone photos I took of that event from the steps of the DNR headquarters building.

I am writing you now to call attention to several details I found significant:

First: before I could get to this ‪nine o’clock‬ event, I was stopped under the approach to the Lanier Bridge by a cordon of law enforcement officers and their cruisers. The purpose of this cordon was to keep the public from attending or witnessing the press conference. I gained access as an experienced freelance writer accustomed to dealing with obstructions. But why were there no provisions for members of the public to attend this event?

Second: is it possible this press release from which the public was excluded was scheduled to take place an hour before the much larger public event in order to distract the press from attending that other event miles away in front of the Glynn County courthouse?

Third: why didn’t you or anyone from the Brunswick News witness or document the long equivalent of a perp walk as the many state and local officials who took part in this event marched from their assembly point behind closed doors inside the Susan Shipman Environmental Learning Center to the lawn below the DNR headquarters building?

Fourth: why was it necessary to have so many officials who had nothing to say line up in the background, some between the U.S. and Georgia flags, others standing in a row off to one side?

Fifth: how many (or how few) of these officials were wearing masks or practicing social distancing?

My thanks to Bobby Haven for photographing both events.

Best regards,

Julian Smith