Man charged with murder for filming father and son who fatally shot a passer-bye in US
A Georgia man who filmed the mobile phone footage of Ahmaud Arbery‘s fatal shooting has been charged with murder.
Protests against Mr Arbery’s death erupted across the US when a video emerged online of an unarmed black man being gunned down while he was jogging on a residential street outside the port city of Brunswick.
Mr Arbery, 25, died on February 23 when two men armed themselves and pursed the 25-year-old from a truck.
Two months later, authorities arrested Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said a third suspect, 50-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan, has now been charged after being arrested on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
No other details were given but the GBI said that it would hold a news conference on Friday morning.
Gregory McMichael told police he suspected Mr Arbery was a burglar and that Mr Arbery attacked his son before being shot.
Mr Bryan lives in the same subdivision just outside the port city of Brunswick, and the video he took from the cab of his vehicle helped stir a national outcry when it leaked online.
Mr Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough has previously insisted Bryan played no role in Mr Arbery’s death.
“Roddie Bryan is not now, and has never been, more than a witness to the shooting,” Mr Gough said in a statement on Monday. “He is not a vigilante. Roddie did not participate in the horrific killing of this young man.
“Mr Bryan has committed no crime, and bears no criminal responsibility in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.”
Mr Bryan’s video of the shooting was taken from the driver’s seat of a vehicle following behind Mr Arbery as he runs along a residential street.
The video shows Mr Arbery jogging along a residential road before a white pickup truck comes into view, with a man positioned next to its open driver-side door. Mr Arbery runs around the vehicle, before muffled shooting can be heard.
He re-emerges, and scuffles with the man outside the truck before three gun shots are heard.
Gregory McMichael retired last year after more than two decades as an investigator for the local prosecutor’s office. Because of those ties, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself from the case. Two outside prosecutors assigned the case have also stepped aside.
The McMichaels were arrested on May 7, after the GBI took over the shooting investigation from Glynn County police
Soon after the GBI’s involvement was announced, a Brunswick attorney with access to the shooting video released it to a local radio station and copies soon proliferated online.
Activists are calling for federal hate crime charges to also be brought against the suspects.
The McMichaels remain in jail in Glynn County waiting for a preliminary court hearing and for a judge to decide whether to free them on bond pending trial.
Attorneys for the father and son have urged people not to rush to judgment in the case.