Monday, May 18, 2020

Georgia man, who took video of Ahmaud Arbery shooting, is under investigation and living out of his car, fearful for his life after receiving a series of threats

Ahmaud Arbery shooting

A man who took video of a black jogger's shooting death in Brunswick, Georgia, is receiving death threats and is under investigation by state authorities, according to news reports. (Video is embedded at the end of this post.)

William "Roddie" Bryan was doing yard work when he saw an unfamiliar man jogging down the street, followed by a vehicle he recognized, said Kevin Gough, Bryan's attorney. From a report at CNN:

The man who recorded the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia is receiving threats after authorities announced that he's also being investigated following the killing, his attorney said.

The man, William "Roddie" Bryan, shared the 36-second video with police and was cooperating with investigators, his attorney Kevin Gough said in a statement Friday.

"It was Mr. Bryan who videotaped the incident in question, disclosed the existence of the videotape, and invited a responding Glynn County Police Officer to sit with him in his truck where they watched the video together," Gough said. The video appears to show the confrontation between Arbery and two men before the shooting that left Arbery dead in Brunswick, Georgia.

The men -- father and son Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, -- were arrested Thursday and face charges of murder and aggravated assault in Arbery's February 23 killing, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The footage was a "very important piece of evidence," GBI Director Vic Reynolds said Friday. Asked whether there will be additional arrests, Reynolds told reporters the investigation is still active.

"We investigate everybody involved in the case, including the individual who shot the video," he said.

Surveillance video from a home-construction site shows Arbery was just one of several people who trespassed on the property in the weeks leading up to the shooting. Arbery was the only trespasser to be attacked and killed. Meanwhile, "Roddie" Bryan has suffered significant consequences because of the video, his attorney said:

The comments by authorities have put Bryan's life in danger, along with his family, friends and neighbors, his attorney said in a statement. He added that his client has lost his job, despite committing no crime and cooperating with the investigation.

In an interview with CNN Saturday, Gough, Bryan's attorney, said his client was not acting in conjunction with the McMichaels the day of the shooting.

Bryan was doing yard work when he saw an unfamiliar man being chased by a car he recognized as being from the neighborhood, Gough said.

Bryan filmed the incident and shared the video with police when they arrived on the scene. Later, he went to a police station so authorities could access and download the footage, Gough said.

Bryan and the McMichaels did not have a relationship, Gough said, besides being neighbors and one point when Gregory McMichael brought lawnmowers to the shop where Bryan worked.

Any implication that his client was a vigilante, Gough said, was inaccurate.

"Mr. Bryan videotaped what was going on and because he did that there is a prosecution," Gough said. "If he had not videotaped that incident, the only person who really could speak to what happened is dead and we'll never have that opportunity. That video is the prosecution.

Bryan told the UK Independent he was living in a state of fear, following the shooting and release of the video:

A man who who recorded the viral video that showed a white father and his son allegedly shooting a black 25-year-old named Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging has spoken out about the fatal incident.

William Roddie Bryan said in a new interview he was in “complete shock” when he witnessed the shooting in Brunswick, Georgia that took place on 23 February, and has received threats since the video he recorded drew national media attention.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like that before,” Mr Bryan said. “Complete shock. . . . ”

“I had nothing to do with it,” he said in the interview with CBS affiliate WJAX-TV. “I’m trying to get my life back to normal, and it’s been smeared for the last week … I was told I was a witness and I’m not sure what I am, other than receiving a bunch of threats. . . . ”

Mr Bryan told the news outlet he was currently living out of a car with his fiance while fearing for his life.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t scared,” he said. “If that’s what they wanted to do was scare me, they’ve scared me.”

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