The two men who killed a young Black man who was jogging in rural Georgia when he was shot have been arrested and charged with murder. Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael were safely taken into custody more than two months after they chased down Ahmaud Arbery, confronted him and shot him to death in the city of Brunswick.
While the news that the McMichaels were arrested and charged were welcomed by protesters, there was no mention of the third man who filmed the shooting being charged. The footage recorded by William “Roddie” Bryan shows the McMichaels’ truck stopped in front of Arbery who clearly tries to run around the passenger’s side of the vehicle. However, Travis confronts Arbery and the two struggle with his shotgun before a gunshot is heard. The struggle continues when a second shot is heard. The whole time, a man who seems to be Gregory McDonald is standing in the back trunk of the truck and also appears to have a weapon in hand. The clip ends with a third shot and Ahmaud tries to run away before tumbling to the ground with fatal injuries.
Civil rights attorney on Thursday night repeated his calls for Bryan to be arrested as well.
In a letter that prosecutor George Barnhill wrote to the Glenn County Police Department, he tried to argue that there were no grounds to arrest the McMichael’s nor Bryan. “It appears Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and (William Bryan) were following, in ‘hot pursuit,’ a burglary suspect, with solid firsthand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/telling him to stop,” Barnhill wrote. “It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia law, this is perfectly legal.”
However, there is no proof in the video that any of the three men called on Arbery to stop. Many people outraged across the county saw the pursuit of Arbery as a point-blank “lynching.”
Activist Shaun King went so far as to say Bryan’s involvement in Arbery’s death makes him an “accessory to murder.” Attorney S. Lee Merritt who represents Arbery’s family tweeted a photo of Bryan and wrote that there are “THREE suspects.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation made the announcement on Thursday night. Its full statement follows below:
“On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, GA when both Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted Arbery with two firearms. During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.
“This case is being investigated in partnership with District Attorney Tom Durden.
“On May 5th, 2020, District Attorney Tom Durden formally requested the GBI investigate the death of Ahmaud Arbery. The Kingsland Office initiated an investigation on May 6th, 2020.
“On April 29th, 2020, the Glynn County Police Department (GCPD) requested that the GBI investigate allegations of threats against GCPD and individuals involved in the active investigation.
“On the morning of May 5th, 2020, GCPD requested the GBI investigate the public release of video related to Arbery’s death.
“These investigations are all active and ongoing. If anyone has information related to these cases, please contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).”