The Georgia Bureau of Investigations arrested William “Roddie” Bryan, the man who allegedly filmed the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, on Thursday in connection with the incident, which occurred in late-February.
Bryan, 50, has been charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, said the bureau in a statement Thursday afternoon. Bryan has been booked at the Glynn County jail, but no other details have been released.
Bryan told Action News Jax earlier this month that he’s been in “complete shock,” was told he was a witness to the situation, and wants his life back to normal.
“I had nothing to do with it. I’m trying to get my life back to normal, and it’s been smeared for the last week,” said Bryan. “I was told I was a witness and I’m not sure what I am, other than receiving a bunch of threats.”
Kevin Gough, an attorney for Bryan, previously told The New York Times that his client never tried to hide the footage, and “if anybody wanted a copy of the video, he would give it to them.”
Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Arbery family, tweeted earlier this week that he had been asked about Bryan receiving threats in a press conference. In the same tweet, Merritt posted a video of himself responding to a purported question about Bryan, and called the man’s stance an “attempt to reverse roles and make himself a victim.”
“Ahmaud Arbery’s mother called me [enraged] about his comments – because of his actions – not because of how she feels about him. She didn’t pre-judge him because of his race. She looked at what he did to her child,” said Merritt.
The exact wording of the question is not clear from the video, but Merritt summarized the question as follows: “Roddy Bryan says you are casting a threat to HIS life! He’s in hiding because he’s afraid he might be killed.”
Question: Roddy Bryan says you are causing a threat to HIS life! He’s in hiding because he’s afraid he might be killed.
Response: #AhmaudArbery is actually dead in large part because of his actions. pic.twitter.com/sBCcYBj0Uq
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 20, 2020
While Bryan may have filmed the events leading up to and including the fatal shooting, he was not the one who publicly released it. As The Daily Wire previously reported, Alan Tucker, a local attorney, says he released the video in an unofficial capacity on behalf of Gregory McMichael, one of the three men who has been charged in the shooting.
“[Greg] wanted the public to know the truth,” said Tucker, as reported by NBC News Saturday. “That he and his son were not white supremacists driving in a pick-up truck with a confederate flag in the back who shot a black man in the back because he was jogging in a white neighborhood.”
Travis McMichael, 34, the elder McMichael’s son, was charged in the shooting earlier this month. Gregory McMichael told police at the time of the incident that he and his son were pursuing a burglary suspect, and at one point, a man named “Roddie” tried to intercept the person they were chasing.
In the previous interview with Action News Jax, Gough declined to allow Bryan to answer questions about his role in the situation.
“My client was responding to what he saw, which was someone in the community he didn’t know being followed by a vehicle he recognized,” said Gough. “Without going into details about the level of crime in this community in this subdivision, I think most people in this subdivision were aware that there were issues.”
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