The man who filmed the tragic video of Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting has been arrested, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.
William “Roddie” Bryan was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
William “Roddy” Bryan was officially booked into Glynn County Jail last night for felony murder and false imprisonments charges.
— Kelly Wiley (@KellyWileyNews) May 22, 2020
Bryan, 50, recorded the video that sent shockwaves through the nation and incited protests.
Bryan appeared on several news outlets to say he was not involved in the shooting. But George McMichael named him during his retelling of the events and said that Bryan tried to intercept their altercation with Arbery.
During an interview on the TODAY show Bryan’s lawyer, Kevin Gough, emphasized his client’s innocence.
Gough said that Bryan was in his yard when he saw Arbery running and being trailed by a white pickup truck that he recognized. His claim is that he wanted to get a photo of Arbery because he did not recognize him and there had been “a number of crimes in the neighborhood.”
In a press release, Gough said Bryan had cooperated with local law enforcement and voluntarily went to the police station to provide more information and his testimony.
“Roddie is a family man, NASCAR fan, and enjoys rock ‘n’ roll,” Gough said in a press release. “He is not now, and never has been, a vigilante.”
In a news conference, GBI Director Vic Reynolds said the investigation will go where the evidence leads them. Right now, Bryan is a huge piece of this case.
The father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, who killed Arbery were arrested two days after the video went viral online. Since then GBI has taken over the handling of the case.
On Feb. 23, in Brunswick Georgia, the McMichaels armed themselves with a .357 Magnum and a shotgun after they saw Arbery “hauling ass” down the road. The men say they armed themselves because they believed Arbery was armed.
The initial report does not conclude whether Arbery was armed, but the family insists he was out for a simple jog – without a weapon.
George Barnhill, the now-recused prosecutor who first handled the case, concluded the McMichaels were justified in their actions and “allowed to use deadly force to protect himself” under the Georgia law. Which has the “stand your ground” act.
Arbery’s family says Bryan’s arrest is hopefully a step towards justice and accountability for all parties involved in Arbery’s murder.
“We want anyone who participated in the murder of Mr. Arbery to be held accountable,” said the family.