During a press conference on Friday, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Vic Reynolds, announced that the man who recorded the cell-phone video of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery is also being investigated as part of the overall inquiry into the incident, Buzzfeed News reported.
The video, which showed Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, chasing down and shooting Arbery, was released last week. The video contradicted the version of the crime given to the police by the McMichaels, who said Arbery was the aggressor and that they shot him in self-defense.
The video was not released by the man who filmed it, but by a Brunswick, Georgia lawyer named Alan Tucker, according to Buzzfeed News. When Tucker released the footage he made it clear he was not representing anyone involved in the case, but that he released the video in the interest of “absolute transparency because my community was being ripped apart by erroneous accusations and assumptions.”
The video went viral shortly after being released and spurred widespread outrage. Calls for justice came from the public as well as high-profile politicians and celebrities.
The man who took the video has been identified as William “Roddie” Bryan, per USA Today. A lawyer representing Arbery’s family, S. Lee Merritt, requested that Bryan be looked into as part of the overall investigation.
Bryan is a neighbor of the McMichaels. According to Buzzfeed News, the police report stated that he pursued the McMichaels while they were chasing Arbery. The police report also stated that Bryan tried to prevent Arbery from getting away. In the initial police report, Bryan is listed as a witness to the crime, not a suspect.
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 7, 2020
However, people close to Arbery and his family believe Bryan was involved in the crime. In a tweet on Thursday, Merritt said he has been talking about a third suspect in the shooting for some time and revealed he believed Bryan was complicit in the shooting. He called for Bryan to be arrested as well. Gregory and Travis were arrested on Thursday evening and charged with murder and aggravated assault.
According to Buzzfeed News, Reynolds said at a press conference on Friday that after the GBI had reviewed the video of the shooting, they determined “there’s more than sufficient probable cause for felony murder.” When asked if there would be any more arrests in the case, Reynolds responded that further arrests would be made if the investigation yielded sufficient evidence for them.