Newly released body camera footage from a police officer who responded to the scene where Ahmaud Arbery killed by a group of racist, white vigilantes revealed that one of the accused murderers shamelessly tried to blame the 21-year-old Black jogger for provoking his own shooting in rural Georgia earlier this year.
On the video, which was viewed and reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Travis McMichael is seen “splattered with blood” while speaking to the unidentified Glynn County police officer on Feb. 23 in the coastal town of Brunswick
Compared to the full video from the shooting that was filmed by accused murderer William “Roddie” Bryan and leaked to the media back in May — more than seven months before the newly bodycam footage was released Monday — it is now more than clear that McMichael was telling a bald-faced lie about the fatal encounter provoked by him and his father.
It was a lie that his father, Gregory McMichael, eagerly co-signed. The elder McMichael even suggested to the officer that he regretted not being the one to shoot Arbery over unsubstantiated claims of burglary inspired by their racial profiling of the jogger.
“(Travis) had no choice, man” Gregory McMichael told the cop before adding later: “To be honest with you if I could’ve shot the guy I would’ve shot him myself.” He said without proof that Arbery made “frequent trips to the neighborhood … breaking into places.”
The bodycam footage shows Bryan apparently pretending he had second thoughts surrounding the matter.
”Should we have been chasing him?” he asked. “I don’t know.”
The new video provides some context as to how it took a report in the New York Times to expose an apparent incestuous coverup by local law enforcement, with which Gregory McMichael had a long career.
It also cemented Bryan’s homicidal role in the shooting, according to Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represents Arby’s family.
“After publicly absolving himself of having any part in Ahmaud Arbery’s modern-day lynching, this newly released body camera footage confirms what we had long suspected about William ‘Roddie’ Bryan,” Crump said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “The footage clearly documents that Bryan used his truck to block Ahmaud from escaping the McMichaels. With the murderous teamwork of Bryan and the McMichaels exposed for the world to see, we are confident that this will bring us one step closer to justice for the Arbery family.”
Arbery was out for one of his routine jogs in Brunswick when the McMichaels saw him, grabbed their guns, jumped in a pickup truck and drove after Arbery before pulling in front of him. Bryan’s vehicle trailed the McMichaels and, while filming the whole thing, he used his truck to trap Arbery in between the two vehicles. As Arbery tried to run past, Travis McMichael got out and shot him in broad daylight in the middle of a road.
The McMichaels were finally arrested on May 7, nearly three months after they killed Arbery. Bryan was arrested two weeks later. All three were indicted by a grand jury in September on malice and felony murder charges as well as aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
In case there was any confusion about how the McMichaels and Bryan feel about Black people, testimony from a bond hearing in November confirmed the three suspects frequently exchanged text messages replete with racist slurs.
Bryan, in trying to distance himself from his co-defendants, told investigators that Travis McMichael called Arbery a “fucking nigger” after shooting the jogger three times at close range with a shotgun. However, a judge cited phone records when said Bryan also used the N-word and other racial slurs frequently.
Multiple prosecutors recused themselves from the murder case over shady links to the accused killers that presented conflicts of interest.
Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself after it was revealed that Gregory McMichael worked for more than 20 years with her office as an investigator.
Johnson’s voluntary recusal led to the case being assigned to Ware County District Attorney George Barnhill, who eventually also had to recuse himself after Arbery’s mom, Wanda Cooper, found out that Barnhill’s son works in the Brunswick district attorney’s office, which had previously employed Gregory McMichael.
Then came Joyette Holmes, a Black woman who was also the district attorney in Cobb County, a former judge and a Republican. She was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, prompting suspicion that she may have been hand-picked to prosecute the case because of her political ties and her apparent loyalty to the governor, who has emerged as a contemptuous figure in the Black community from both rigging his election in 2018 as well as reacting recklessly to the coronavirus crisis in Georgia.
But Holmes lost her bid for re-election in November to Flynn Broady, who inherited the prosecution of Arbery’s case.
A Disturbing Timeline Of Ahmaud Arbery's Killing And Murder Investigation In Georgia
1. October 20191 of 39
2. November 2019
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This video is from 11/17. Larry English called 911 on 11/18 and said he had a problem with "other people" the night before. This appears to show that day and is from English's attorney. There is no record of neighbors calling 911 this day, based off records from Glynn Co 911 pic.twitter.com/BXlyYEaBcL— Wright Gazaway (@WrightKATU) May 15, 2020
3. Dec. 20, 2019
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Police told the homeowner where #AhmaudArbery was last seen to contact Greg McMichael if his cameras caught someone on his property. McMichael in turn gathered a posse & began hunting for Ahmaud, or someone who fit his description, catching up with him on 2/23/20– killing him. pic.twitter.com/BmlmW636f5— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) May 16, 2020
4. Dec. 20, 2019
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This is the man that set the plan in motion that led to the murder of #AhmaudArbery.— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) May 18, 2020
ROBERT RASH is a Glynn County Police Officer.
He instructed a homeowner to contact Gregory McMichael to deal w/ trespassers.
McMichael and his son formed a posse and murdered Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/ZqZg567Agp
5. Feb. 11, 2020
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Larry English’s attorney gave me this video from Feb 11. It shows the incident outlined in my story when Travis McMichael called 911 and saw someone in the home. On 2/23, he and his father thought the Abrery was who they saw on the 11th pic.twitter.com/C2gVJCJ3xQ— Wright Gazaway (@WrightKATU) May 14, 2020
6. Feb. 23Source:Getty 6 of 39
7. Feb. 27, 2020
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This is the DA who blocked the arrest of 2 white supremacist TERRORISTS after they murdered an innocent black man execution style while he was jogging in his neighborhood— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) May 9, 2020
JACKIE JOHNSON NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR OBSTRUCTING & ENDANGERING THE LIVES OF BLACK MEN
ARREST HER pic.twitter.com/ngSIEGMCq1
8. Feb. 27, 20208 of 39
9. Feb. 29, 2020Source:Getty 9 of 39
10. March 2020
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If you’re wondering why no charges were initially filed on the murderers of #AhmaudArbery, it’s because D.A. George Barnhill immediately concluded Arbery was a criminal & that he attacked the men who were hunting him.— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) May 7, 2020
This is letter Barnhill sent to the Brunswick authorities pic.twitter.com/vsGCboful7
11. April 2, 2020
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Police report sheds more light on Satilla Shores shooting https://t.co/Zi6YVGTkhK— The Brunswick News (@Brunswick_News) April 2, 2020
12. April 3, 202012 of 39
13. April 13
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This is District Attorney, Tom Durden, who suggested taking the murder of an innocent black man to a grand jury! Oh btw this the same DA who had the video already for a MONTH and who was arrested for a DUI 2 years ago, let’s make sure he does his JOB!!! #JusticeForAhmaudArbery pic.twitter.com/UuXdlzfqEP— I said so. (@charcekage) May 6, 2020
14. April 26, 2020
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We’ll never know how often Black life is taken, justice denied:— Dr. Malinda S. Smith (@MalindaSmith) May 9, 2020
“Two Weapons, a Chase, a Killing and No Charges.
A 25-year-old man running through a Georgia neighborhood ended up dead. A prosecutor argued that the pursuers should not be arrested” @nytimes https://t.co/pJA6kSK6cj
15. April 28, 202015 of 39
16. May 5, 202016 of 39
17. May 5, 202017 of 39
18. May 7, 202018 of 39
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20. May 8, 2020
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On what would have been his 26th birthday, people were jogging 2.23 miles in his honor to signify the date he was killed by Gregory and Travis McMichael, who racially profiled and shot the jogger in Brunswick, Georgia. #IrunwithMaud #IRunwithAhmaudhttps://t.co/V2KuBaeKjx— NewsOne (@newsone) May 9, 2020
21. May 9, 2020Source:Getty 21 of 39
22. May 10, 202022 of 39
23. May 11, 2020
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Another huge WIN for #JusticeForAhmaud! At the family’s demand— a special prosecutor will replace Tom Durden the S. GA prosecutor that sat on the case until video of Ahmaud’s murder was leaked. Joyette Holmes is out of @cobbcountygovt. Her office is being reviewed for conflicts. pic.twitter.com/rcuQ7UPOfE— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) May 11, 2020
24. May 12, 2020Source:Twitter 24 of 39
25. May 13, 2020
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“Ahmaud, I am so sorry. I should have stopped them,” reads the note. “I am so sorry.” The card was not signed by a name and no more information or context was provided, including when the card was left there. https://t.co/nzzY5aNple— NewsOne (@newsone) May 14, 2020
26. May 14, 2020Source:Getty 26 of 39
27. May 18, 2020
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Because this story wasn't bad enough now we discover Lindsay McMichael, the daughter and sister of Ahmaud Arbery’s alleged killers, posted a picture of Ahmaud’s deceased body to snapchat pic.twitter.com/RwTwzrAXAG— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) May 19, 2020
28. May 18, 202028 of 39
29. May 20, 2020Source:Getty 29 of 39
30. May 20, 2020
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Today, the GA Congressional Delegation co-signed a letter to U.S. AG William Barr and Asst AG Eric Dreiband, encouraging the use of “all possible Federal resources to achieve full justice, transparency, and accountability in the case of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery.” https://t.co/8FcMZEEKWF— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) May 20, 2020
31. May 21, 2020Source:WJAX 31 of 39
32. May 25, 2020
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NEW: Attorneys for Ahmaud Arbery's parents announce that the Department of Justice will be investigating Arbery's killing and why it took so long to arrest the people responsible. See their statement here: pic.twitter.com/yfcnrT5SjV— Hayley Mason (@HayleyMasonTV) May 26, 2020
33. June 2020
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Reports of a photo op with the president or standing with the White House during the EO signing are false.— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) June 16, 2020
Show me the civil rights leaders who are upset about families making a direct appeal for federal intervention after the murder of their loved one & I’ll show you a clown. pic.twitter.com/GXR5arB8Mz
34. June 17, 2020Source:WJAX 34 of 39
35. November 2020Source:Getty 35 of 39
36. December 2020
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William ‘Roddie’ Bryan tried to publicly absolve himself of having any part in Ahmaud Arbery’s modern-day lynching, but this newly released bodycam footage confirms what we long suspected: He clearly used his truck to block Ahmaud's escape from the McMichaels! pic.twitter.com/UAms4LYS28— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 15, 2020
37. January 2021Source:Getty 37 of 39
38. February 2021Source:Getty 38 of 39
39. Feb. 23, 2021Source:Getty 39 of 39
Newly Released Bodycam Footage Reveals How Ahmaud Arbery’s Killer Blamed Jogger For His Own Death was originally published on newsone.com