One of the three suspected white supremacists involved in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery had his request for bail denied once again after a judge heard his latest reason why he wanted to be released. William “Roddie” Bryan — who filmed his buddies chase down Arbery in a truck, trap him and shoot him in broad daylight in the middle of a road because they racially and falsely profiled the jogger as a burglar — made his second such plea weeks ago, but the judge’s ruling was made public on Thursday, according to local media outlet First Coast News.
It was the second time Bryan’s request for freedom has been turned down.
Bryan’s attorney Kevin Goughfiled a motion to grant bail because he said his client was suffering from a high blood pressure of 190/100. The range for blood pressure deemed normal is typically less than 120/80.
In the motion, Gough tried to suggest that keeping Bryan behind bars would not only adversely affect his client but also negatively impact the pending murder trial.
“Assuming he survives long enough to have a trial, Mr. Bryan’s ability to attend, follow along and participate meaningfully in his own trial would be greatly impaired if this issue is not addressed,” Gough wrote.
But Judge Timothy Walmsley was unswayed, just like back in July when he also ruled against granting Bryan or his codefendants — father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael — any bail. That was when Bryan pleaded not guilty to all nine counts against him in the Arbery case, including malice and felony murder. That was also when it was announced that Bryan was being investigated for child molestation, an allegation that was the result of the investigation for the Arbery case.
Thursday was the latest update in the quest for justice for Arbery, who was out for a routine jog in the city of Brunswick on the afternoon of Feb. 23, 2020, when he was racially profiled by the McMichaels, who suspected him without proof of being a burglar. The two of them grabbed their guns, jumped in a pickup truck and drove after Arbery before pulling in front of him. Bryan’s vehicle trailed the McMichaels’ and, while filming the whole thing, he used his truck to trap Arbery in between the two vehicles. As Arbery tried to run past the McMichaels’ truck, Travis McMichael got out and shot him to death.
Bryan told investigators that Travis McMichael called Arbery a “f–king ni–er” after shooting the jogger three times at close range with a shotgun.
Bodycam released last month from a police officer who responded to the scene where Arbery was killed revealed that Travis McMichael at first tried to blame the 21-year-old jogger for provoking his own shooting.
On the video, Travis McMichael is seen “splattered with blood” while speaking to the unidentified Glynn County police officer. Compared to the video from the shooting filmed by Bryan, it is now more than clear that Travis McMichael was telling a bald-faced lie about the fatal encounter provoked by him and his father.
It was a lie that his father, Gregory McMichael, eagerly co-signed. The elder McMichael even suggested to the officer that he regretted not being the one to shoot Arbery over unsubstantiated claims of burglary inspired by their racial profiling of the jogger.
“(Travis) had no choice, man,” Gregory McMichael told the cop before adding later: “To be honest with you if I could’ve shot the guy I would’ve shot him myself.” He said without proof that Arbery made “frequent trips to the neighborhood … breaking into places.”
The bodycam footage shows Bryan apparently pretending he had second thoughts surrounding the matter.
”Should we have been chasing him?” he asked. “I don’t know.”
The new video provides some context as to how it took a report in the New York Times to expose an apparent incestuous coverup by local law enforcement, with which Gregory McMichael had a long career.
It also cemented Bryan’s homicidal role in the shooting, according to Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represents Arbery’s family.
“After publicly absolving himself of having any part in Ahmaud Arbery’s modern-day lynching, this newly released body camera footage confirms what we had long suspected about William ‘Roddie’ Bryan,” Crump said in a statement last month. “The footage clearly documents that Bryan used his truck to block Ahmaud from escaping the McMichaels. With the murderous teamwork of Bryan and the McMichaels exposed for the world to see, we are confident that this will bring us one step closer to justice for the Arbery family.”
In case there was any confusion about how the McMichaels and Bryan feel about Black people, testimony from a bond hearing in November confirmed the three suspects frequently exchanged text messages replete with racist slurs. Citing phone records, a judge said Bryan also used the N-word and other racial slurs frequently.
Multiple prosecutors recused themselves from the murder case over shady links to the accused killers that presented conflicts of interest.
Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself after it was revealed that Gregory McMichael worked for more than 20 years with her office as an investigator.
Johnson’s voluntary recusal led to the case being assigned to Ware County District Attorney George Barnhill, who eventually also had to recuse himself after Arbery’s mom, Wanda Cooper, found out that Barnhill’s son works in the Brunswick district attorney’s office, which had previously employed Gregory McMichael.
Then came Joyette Holmes, a Black woman who was also the district attorney in Cobb County, a former judge and a Republican. She was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, prompting suspicion that she may have been hand-picked to prosecute the case because of her political ties and her apparent loyalty to the governor, who has emerged as a contemptuous figure in the Black community from both rigging his election in 2018 as well as reacting recklessly to the coronavirus crisis in Georgia.
But Holmes lost her bid for re-election in November to Flynn Broady, who inherited the prosecution of Arbery’s case.
A date for the trial had not been set as of Friday.
This is America.