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On Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced that it had arrested William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr. with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment of Ahmaud Arbery – an unarmed black man who was shot and killed in late February.
Bryan is the third white suspect arrested who videotaped the killing of Arbery. The other two suspects are Gregory McMichael, an ex-police officer and his son Travis.
Bryan reportedly handed the recorded footage to a criminal defense lawyer in Georgia, Alan Tucker who then passed it to WGIG, a local radio station in Brunswick, Georgia.
Arbery’s relatives stated their belief that Bryan, too, had taken part in the fatal pursuit although authorities have not explained any circumstances of Bryan’s suspected involvement. Bryan’s attorney however, insists that his client had no relationship to the McMichaels and told police he was a mere bystander to the confrontation.
The footage sparked mass outcry across the nation with many pointing to the fact that there were no arrests made for more than two months after the shooting. Many also said that the incident marks just another case of law enforcement in the United States allowing white perpetrators to go unpunished in unwarranted killings of black Americans.
Days after the video went viral, the GBI arrested the McMichaels. Each was charged with aggravated assault and felony murder. The McMichaels have told police they suspected Arbery in a string of neighborhood burglaries when they spotted him running down the street and were seeking to make an arrest.
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