Man who recorded Ahmaud Arbery shooting charged with murder

Victoria Albert

William Bryan, the man who recorded the February killing of Ahmaud Arbery, has been arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday. The 50-year-old is the third person to be charged in connection with Arbery's death. 

Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old black man, was killed on February 23 in a neighborhood in Georgia. No arrests were made in the case until this month, when newly revealed cellphone footage taken by Bryan showed 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and his 34-year-old son, Travis, confront Arbery before shooting him.

Gregory and Travis were both arrested on May 9. Travis was charged with murder and aggravated assault, and Gregory was charged with party to murder and aggravated assault. 

On the day of the shooting, Arbery was spotted walking around an open construction site and the McMichaels pursued him in a pickup truck, according to the police report. When they passed Bryan's home, Bryan got in his own vehicle and followed, The New York Times reported. 

When Arbery ran around the McMichaels' car, Bryan tried to block him, Gregory McMichael told investigators. Arbery ran past Bryan's car, too, and the two vehicles reportedly turned around and continued pursuing him. At 1:14 p.m., Bryan took the video of Travis shooting Arbery, the Times said. 

McMichael told police he thought Arbery was a burglary suspect, adding that Arbery "violently" attacked his son, and the two fought "over the shotgun" before Travis shot him twice.

In an interview with CBS affiliate WJAX, Bryan said he had "nothing to do" with Arbery's death. "I had nothing to do with it. I'm trying to get my life back to normal, and it's been smeared for the last week," Bryan said. "I was told I was a witness and I'm not sure what I am, other than receiving a bunch of threats."

"My client was responding to what he saw, which was someone in the community he didn't know being followed by a vehicle he recognized," Bryan's attorney told the outlet. "Without going into details about the level of crime in this community in this subdivision, I think most people in this subdivision were aware that there were issues." 

Attorneys for Arbery's family commended Bryan's arrest. "The family of Ahmaud Arbery was relieved to learn that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken William 'Roddie' Bryan into custody," the lawyers said in a statement. "We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process. His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation it was clear to the GBI as well." 

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