Law & the Courts

Man Who Filmed Ahmaud Arbery’s Death Arrested on Murder Charges

A cross stands stuck in the ground along Highway 17 at the entrance of the Saltillo Shores neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery was shot, in Brunswick, Ga., May 8, 2020. (Dustin Chambers/Reuters)

The man who filmed the death of Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery has been arrested on murder charges, state authorities announced on Thursday.

William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr., 50, was arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in connection with George and Travis McMichael, whom Bryan filmed killing Arbery. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s family, released an extended segment of footage from Bryan’s cell phone that showed that Bryan got into his car and chased Arbery along with the McMichaels, then continued to film while Arbery was shot.

It was “obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well,” that Bryan was involved in the killing, Merritt and other attorneys said in a statement.

The February killing of Arbery, who is African-American, by the McMichaels, who are white, drew national outrage. The McMichaels claimed that Arbery resembled a suspected burglar in the neighborhood, and drove to confront him. The two men brought along a .357 Magnum and shotgun, and shot Arbery, who was unarmed, during the confrontation.

George McMichael, 64, is a retired investigator in Glynn County where the killing took place. Two county commissioners told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this month that county district attorney Jackie Johnson initially prevented officers from arresting the McMichaels following the February killing.

The U.S. Justice Department is considering federal hate-crime charges against the McMichaels.

“We will continue to assess all information, and we will take any appropriate action that is warranted by the facts and the law,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said earlier this month.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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