New body camera footage contradicts the defense of one of the three suspects facing felony murder charges in the February killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Arbery, 25, was chased and gunned down by Travis and Gregory McMichael while running near his Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood on Feb. 23. The father and son said they believed Arbery was responsible for recent break-ins in the neighborhood.
William “Roddie” Bryan, who filmed the encounter on his cellphone and was also charged with felony murder alongside the McMichaels, originally said he was not involved in the incident.
None of the men were arrested until footage of the encounter was leaked to the media — by Gregory McMichael himself — in May, sparking nationwide protests and outrage.
Police body camera footage obtained by WJAX contradicts Bryan’s claim that he was not involved in the incident.
The footage begins minutes after Arbery was killed as Glenn County Police respond to the shooting. Arbery was on the green, covered in blood and without a pulse. After speaking to Gregory McMichael, the officer questioned Bryan.
“You’re a passerby, or coming through?” an officer asked Bryan.
“Not necessarily,” Bryan said.
Bryan then relayed to police how he had engaged with Arbery.
“When I see him, I knew, hate that people were getting broken into out here, you know. So, I hollered at them and said, ‘Y’all got him?’ And he just kept running. He was full blown running,” Bryan said to police. “They got down to the end down there somewhere, must’ve passed him. Because I pulled out of my driveway, was going to try to block him. But he was going all around. I made a few moves at him, you know. And he didn’t stop.”
The statements conflict with Bryan’s statement in May, in which he told Action News Jax reporter Bridgette Matter “I had nothing to do with it.”
Kevin Gough, Bryan’s attorney, continues to claim that his client “has never been more than a witness in the shooting.” According to court documents, Bryan argued last month that he was “armed only with a cellphone and located more than 50 feet away from Mr. Arbery at the time of the shooting,” and should not be in jail.
Travis McMichael, the younger man in the father-son duo, pulled the trigger. His father Gregory said he did so in self-defense.
“I said ‘Travis, don’t! Don’t shoot! Don’t do anything!’” said Gregory. “The guy turns and comes at him! And they start wrestling and Travis shoots him right in the damn chest! The guy was traying to take the shotgun away from him! [Roddie’s] got it on video.”
All three are being held without bond. A trial date has not yet been set.