It’s been a while since we heard anything new from the investigation into the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia back in May, but now some new details of the investigation have emerged. As you may recall, Gregory McMichael and his son Travis were both charged with murder in Arbery’s shooting and they remain in jail without bail. But also charged was William “Roddie” Bryan. (I only just learned that his nickname is pronounced “Roadie.”) Travis was the one who actually shot and killed Arbery and Bryan was the one who filmed the shooting. Police later charged Bryan with murder as well, and there’s a parallel federal investigation into the incident as a possible hate crime ongoing.
From the beginning, Bryan and his attorney have insisted that he was “nothing more than a witness” to the shooting and that they are fighting to “clear his good name” after he was “smeared” in the press. But now a new police bodycam video has emerged, showing a police officer questioning Bryan only minutes after the shooting. The answers that Bryan gives certainly make it sound like he was much more than a witness. (New York Post)
New bodycam footage shows police responding to the shooting of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery — as they interview the three men later charged in his death, according to a report.
“This guy, who we’ve seen on video on numerous times breaking into these other houses, he comes hauling a– down the street. I mean, he’s got it hooked up,” Gregory McMichael tells the Glynn County cops in the video obtained by Action News Jax.
An officer asks William “Roddie” Bryan if he’s a passerby.
“No, not necessarily,” replies Bryan, who captured cellphone video of the killing that went viral and sparked global outrage.
This brief report from CBS News contains the key portions of the police video. How the press obtained it is still unknown, as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said they weren’t making more evidence public while the investigation is ongoing.
There is both testimony straight from Bryan’s lips and alleged physical evidence to be considered. In the video, the cop is heard asking Bryan, “Were you a passerby or coming through?” Bryan responds by saying, “Naw, not necessarily.”
If he’d stopped there it might not have been quite so damning, but he goes on to describe to the officer how he pulled out of his driveway and “was going to try to block him.” Arbery apparently attempted to dodge around Bryan’s vehicle because he next says he “made a few moves at him.”
That certainly doesn’t sound like a bystander filming a tragic event. He was engaged in attempting to box in Arbery until the McMichaels could catch up to him.
On top of that, the attorney representing the Arbery family has claimed that the police found fresh, minor damage to Bryan’s vehicle, suggesting that he may have actually struck Arbery during his attempt to box him in. If the prosecutors can manage to prove that in court then Bryan’s claims of being an innocent bystander are pretty much out the window.
Does all of this add up to a conviction on felony murder charges for Bryan as opposed to accessory to murder? It’s not that much of a stretch. You don’t have to be the person who pulled the trigger if you were actively and physically involved in creating the opportunity for the killer to take the shot. But that’s going to depend heavily on the jury and how the defense presents its case. All three men are still sticking with the claim that it was Arbery who rushed at Travis McMichael and attempted to wrestle the shotgun away from him. The original video of the shooting is partially obscured by the McMichaels’ truck, so it’s rather hard to say. But as Allahpundit pointed out when this story originally broke, if Arbery felt that he was already being chased down by three White guys, two of whom were armed, it’s not hard to imagine him thinking that he was about to be shot anyway so he could have tried to disarm one of his attackers in self-defense.
As I said, if there are even a few locals on the jury who are more sympathetic to the McMichaels than Arbery, that gray area in the explanation as to how this happened could leave enough wiggle room to make a conviction basically impossible.