William Bryan
William Bryan
Screengrab via WJAX-TV

Family of Ahmaud Arbery Calls for Arrest of Man Who Recorded Fatal Shooting

S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Arbery family has said, "We are going to continue to push for the arrest of William Bryan for recording and participating in the ambush of Ahmaud Arbery."

The family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot near Brunswick, Georgia in February is calling for the arrest of William Bryan who reportedly recorded the incident. Despite his attorney’s claim that he was not involved, the family would like Bryan to be held accountable.

In a CNN report, an attorney for the family, S. Lee Merritt has released the following statement: “We are going to continue to push for the arrest of William Bryan for recording and participating in the ambush of Ahmaud Arbery.” Merrit’s statement directly followed a comment from Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough who noted his client had taken a polygraph test which confirmed he wasn’t involved in the shooting.

The test also allegedly verifies Bryan was not in contact with Gregory and Travis McMichael prior to the shooting. Additionally, Gough said the results of the test have been shared with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the state-wide law enforcement agency conducting the investigation into Arbery’s death. 

CNN reports since Bryan’s identity was made public, calls for his arrest have followed and protestors have targeted him and his family, according to Gough. Bryan and his fiancée are currently fearing for their lives and are in hiding.

In an additional statement, Gough said:

"Mr. Bryan is not your enemy. Please stop, if not for the sake of my client's family, then for the sake of the Arbery family and the cause you fight for. Killing off the star witness for the prosecution will not help bring Ahmaud's killers to justice."

On February 23, Bryan was reportedly doing yard work when he saw someone he didn’t know being chased by a vehicle he recognized. He then began recording the incident and later got into his car to follow Arbery who was being chased by the McMichaels. The 36-second clip wasn’t made public until two months following Ahmaud’s death. It became a surefire catalyst for the arrest of the McMichaels who have been charged with aggravated assault and murder. 

"His family deserves justice from not only the two men who have been arrested, but from anyone who participated in that act," Merritt said in a statement. 

He also added:

“The evidence says that he went from his home, according to his attorney, and minutes later he was in his truck following Ahmaud Arbery, who was a jogger in his neighborhood, around. He recorded Ahmaud. The evidence indicates that he blocked Ahmaud with his truck and allowed two other men to ambush and kill him.”

Yesterday, an NBC report unveiled a newly released police body-camera video of Ahmaud being confronted by police officers in 2017. In the clip, Arbery makes it clear he is relaxing on his day off from work.

A bit later, he asked the officer why he was being questioned. The officer proceeds to tell him the area he's in is known for drug activity, he then searches Arbery for weapons and he finds none. A second officer arrives after this part of video. Ahmaud says officers cannot check his car.

As Arbery walks towards the vehicle, the officers tell him to not reach for it. Ahmaud backs away and the second officer yells for him to take his hands out his pocket. He then tries to use a stun gun which malfunctions.

Ahmaud gets down on his knees after an officer yells, "Down. Warning, down." Before this, he was standing with his arms outstretched, quietly.

According to the NBC report, the Glynn County Police Department declined to comment on the incident. Arbery's family attorney says the video features the officers harassing him.

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