The man who filmed the fatal shooting of Georgia man Ahmaud Arbery was charged with murder on Thursday, the third person now charged in connection to the controversial shooting.
As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrest of William “Roddie” Bryan, who was driving and filming the final minutes of Arbery’s life. The video showed Arbery running toward a truck that had stopped in the road, where there was reportedly an altercation with neighbor Travis McMichael that led to Arbery’s fatal shooting.
Travis McMichael, along with his father Gregory, had purportedly told police they suspected Arbery of being involved in a string of burglaries in the coastal Georgia neighborhood, and prosecutors first said the pair were justified in killing Arbery as they were conducting a citizen’s arrest. However, the release of the video led to a national outcry and calls for the men to be arrested. A number of political leaders spoke out as well, calling for the men to be arrested and saying the video did not show them acting in self-defense but rather pursuing and killing the man.
Earlier this month, the GBI arrested both McMichaels on murder charges. The GBI announced on Thursday that Bryan was arrested on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Longer video captured by nearby surveillance along with police reports about the incident showed that Arbery appeared to walk into a home under construction in the neighborhood before leaving minutes later. Nothing was reported stolen.
The video showed that both the McMichaels and Bryan followed Arbery for several minutes as he ran through the neighborhood, turning around to continue following as he changed direction. In the seconds before his death, the video reportedly showed Arbery attempting to run around the truck and Travis McMichael moving toward Arbery, leading to a struggle. Three shots were fired, and Arbery was fatally wounded.
Bryan has maintained his innocence, and a lawyer representing him said that Bryan was not part of a “lynch mob,” as some critics of the killing and initial lack of arrests had claimed.
“If there was a lynch mob or posse, Mr. Bryan was unaware of it,” said attorney Kevin Gough, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As the report noted, Bryan said he got involved after seeing the commotion of the McMichaels pursuing Arbery.
The shooting has led to a number of protests, and many are calling on local authorities who failed to initially press charges against the McMichaels.