The man who leaked the video of Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting believed it would exonerate the two men who were seen shooting him to death on a Georgia road in February.
Instead, the video led to a nationwide outcry that ultimately ended with the arrest of both men.
As The Daily Mail reported, the video showed father-and-son Gregory and Travis McMichael stopped on the road in a pickup truck when Arbery runs by. Video showed that a scuffle ensued, ending with Travis allegedly shooting Arbery.
Though neither men involved deny shooting the 25-year-old, they said they were acting in self-defense after they tried to conduct a citizens arrest and Arbery attacked them. The suspects said they believed Arbery was involved in a string of recent burglaries in the neighborhood. The men had not been charged, as a local district attorney reportedly concurred with the view that the men were acting in self-defense.
The Daily Mail report noted that attorney Alan Tucker admitted leaking the video of the encounter to the press, as he “believed it would clear them of any crime.”
“I really thought releasing the video would put the truth out to the public,” Tucker said in an interview with Inside Edition, via The Daily Mail. “If he [Arbery] had just froze and hadn’t done anything, then he wouldn’t have been shot.”
The video’s release led to outrage, with many calling on Georgia authorities to arrest the men. On Thursday, both father and son were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
The video has also led to backlash for the man who recorded it. As CNN reported, the video led to outcry against William “Roddie” Bryan and calls for him to be investigated, as many believed he was involved in the pursuit that ultimately led to Arbery’s death. S. Lee Merritt, an attorney working for Arbery’s family, has referred to Bryan as an additional suspect in the man’s killing.
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 7, 2020
In a press conference this week, GBI Director Vic Reynolds said that they were looking into whether Bryan played a role in the events that led to Arbery’s death.
“We investigate everybody involved in the case, including the individual who shot the video,” Reynolds said.
“It was Mr. Bryan who videotaped the incident in question, disclosed the existence of the videotape, and invited a responding Glynn County Police Officer to sit with him in his truck where they watched the video together,” Gough said.