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Ahmaud Arbery: William 'Roddie' Bryan who filmed shooting death of black jogger arrested, charged with murder

50-year-old William 'Roddie' Bryan Jr was arrested on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to false imprisonment, officials announced
UPDATED MAY 22, 2020
(GoFundMe/Brunswick Police)
(GoFundMe/Brunswick Police)

The individual responsible for filming Ahmaud Arbery's shooting has been arrested on charges that include murder, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) revealed on Thursday, May 21. 50-year-old William 'Roddie' Bryan Jr. was arrested on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to false imprisonment, officials announced. Bryan's arrest will make it the third in the case after the father-son duo of  Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, who fatally shot the young jogger, also neighbors of Bryan, were earlier arrested.  

Bryan had watched and even filmed the entire shooting on his cellphone and will be booked into Glynn County Jail. An attorney for the victim's family, Ben Crump had been calling for the arrest of the man who shot the video for aiding and abetting the McMichaels in the shooting of Arbery. It was the shocking cell phone footage taken by Bryan that was leaked a few months later which showed the two men chasing and shooting Arbery. In fact, Arbery's case shot to prominence once Bryan's video gained virality and law enforcement was being slammed heavily for their inaction.

Crump took to Twitter to share, "This is William 'Roddie' Bryan – who we believe may have been the third person in pursuit of #AhmaudArbery. If he chased down Ahmaud and filmed his execution, he should be arrested and charged with aiding and abetting them in committing this crime of murder. #RunWithMaud."

Bryan lives a couple of houses away from the McMichaels which is around the same place where the shooting had occurred. Bryan had maintained that he had been a 'witness' and not an accomplice in the shooting. The McMichaels had managed to evade being prosecuted for around more than two months. Arbery was shot on February 23 on a street in Brunswick, Georgia in broad daylight while he was jogging. He was shot three times and was pronounced dead on the scene. 

Arbery's lawyer shared that the 25-year-old was chased for around four minutes before he was shot dead. While speaking of Bryan's involvement in the case, Arbery's lawyer Lee Merrit spoke to Fox News and shared that Bryan had changed his story from initially telling the police he was trying to nab Arbery along with the McMichaels to now "launching a campaign to clear his name." "If he was a good Samaritan, he would have honked his horn. It's worth noting that on the video, he doesn't even flinch. He doesn't gasp. Shot after shot. He simply takes it all in," Merritt said. Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper Jones also weighed in and said, "Why would you videotape it? Why didn't he do anything to help? Why didn't he reach out right after the shooting? Why did he only come forward after the video was leaked?" 

The sister of Travis and the daughter of Gregory McMichael had posted pictures of his body on Snapchat because she is a "true-crime" fan. 30-year-old Lindsay McMichael revealed that she had shared an unedited image of a bloodied Arbery lying on the road in Brunswick, Georgia, on Snapchat. The image showed the bloodied body of Arbery . She shared that she meant no harm when she uploaded the photo, The Sun reveals. Lindsay shared, "I had no nefarious or malicious intent when I posted that picture. The thing is I'm a huge fan of true crime — I listen to four or five podcasts a week — I'm constantly watching that sort of thing." She revealed, "It was more of a 'holy s**t, I can't believe this has happened' moment. It was absolutely poor judgment."

Following Bryan's arrest,  Arbery's family's attorneys said, "(Bryan's) 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."