Third Arrest Made In Ahmaud Arbery's Killing
"We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process," lawyers for Arbery's family said in a statement.
May 08, 2020 at 2:23 pm
Update (May 22, 2020): The man who recorded the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was arrested on Thursday. William Bryan Jr. has been charged with felony murder and criminal intent to commit false imprisonment, reports CNN.
Attorneys for the Arbery family, S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump and L. Chris Stewart said the arrest of the 50-year-old was something they'd pushed for since Arbery's troubling death.
"We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process," the lawyers said in a statement. "His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well."
Gregory McMichael, one of Arbery's killers who is also a former police officer, said Bryan attempted to aid them in their pursuit of Arbery.
According to CBS News, Georgia authorities don't anticipate further arrests in connection to Arbery's killing.
"At this point we feel confident that the individuals who needed to be charged have been charged," Vic Reynolds, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said at a Friday press conference.
Original (May 8, 2020): More than two months after Travis and Gregory McMichael followed and killed 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, the father and son were arrested and charged in his killing. Now, there's more insight into why their arrests may have taken so long.
The McMichaels were booked into the Glynn County Jail and charged with murder and aggravated assault on Thursday, NPR reports.
Mugshots from domestic terrorists Gregory and Travis McMichael. pic.twitter.com/2nP1mFtF58— Robert Littal (@BSO) May 8, 2020
Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker said he believes there is a reason the father and son weren’t arrested.
“It's obvious there was special treatment because they aren't in jail," Booker told USA Today.
Gregory retired last year as an investigator with the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office and was previously a police officer with the Glynn County Police Department (GCPD), according to News4Jax.
The 64-year-old’s prior position led Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson to recuse herself from the case. The case was then handed over to Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill. Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, asked that Barnhill be removed from the case because the attorney’s son had worked in Johnson's office, where Gregory retired from, according to a statement. Barnhill denied allegations of personal relations but still recused himself.
Reverend John Perry II, president of the Brunswick NAACP, condemned the delayed action from police.
"You have relational connections that run back for generations," he told USA Today. "We believe the privilege of relationships caused the delay we are experiencing."
After the video of the incident surfaced, which is believed to have been taken by Travis’ neighbor, William Bryan, a district attorney from the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, Tom Durden, said he would take the case and plans to present it to a grand jury, as Blavity previously reported.
Durden formally asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday to investigate the case. The investigation began Wednesday and investigators are asking for patience.
“The outcome of this incident left more than one victim, and we want to ensure that the family of Ahmaud Arbery is not further traumatized,” the agency said. “When we ask for patience knowing it’s been over two months since the incident, we do so to allow our team to complete the investigation. We know this is difficult and is not only affecting the Brunswick community, or Georgia, but the entire nation.”
Before the investigation began, GCPD asked the GBI to “investigate allegations of threats against GCPD and individuals involved in the active investigation,” according to a statement released Thursday.
On Thursday, the GCPD said there had been no reports of burglary or break-ins in Satilla Shores, the neighborhood where Travis lives, between January 1 and February 23, which Gregory had cited as a reason for pursuing Arbery.
“It’s not over,” Chris Stewart, an attorney for Arbery’s family, told the Guardian. “This is the beginning. A lot of times, African Americans can’t even get to step one of justice.”
Arbery’s former football coach, Jason Vaughn, is asking people to run 2.23 miles on Friday to honor the 25-year-old’s life, as Blavity previously reported.
"With COVID-19 of course, we can't have a demonstration where we all come together," he said. "Any runner can identify with Maud, a guy who may have had a bad day, but he can go out there and hit the pavement and go jog."