In the killing of the black jogger by two white men Gregory McMichael and his son Travis that was captured on video, the role of he videographer William Bryan, Jr. was always suspicious. Clearly he was not a mere passerby who happened to have filmed it with a dashcam. He seemed to be following Arbery. He then said he had given the video to the police and local prosecutors who, despite the damning nature of the killing shown on it, did not charge the two men with the murder and indeed did nothing for two months, until the video was leaked to a local media outlet, apparently by Bryan. Bryan was reported to live in the same area and the McMichaels and they knew each other. It was all very murky but highly suspicious
But after the outcry following the release of the video, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a state office, took over the case and the two McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder. Then today comes news that Bryan has also been charged with “felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment”. The second charge stems from the belief that Bryan’s role was to box in Arbery from the back so that he was trapped and had no way to escape. That would explain why Bryan was driving slowly following Arbery.
The GBI is also investigating the local police and prosecutors offices for their handling of the case and their quick dismissal of any case against the McMichaels, the elder of whom had worked as police officer in that area for 20 years and was known to the local prosecutors.
This morning NPR had a report on this story in which lawyers for Bryan say that he was just a witness and had no relationship to the McMichaels, while lawyers for the McMichaels said that more video of the incident exists that will come out in court. One wonders who else might have been in a position to take video.