Georgia authorities promise justice for Ahmaud Arbery following third arrest in murder case

An image of Ahmaud Arbery on a mask.
An image of Ahmaud Arbery on a mask.(Hyosub Shin/AP)

After weeks of national backlash and three arrests, authorities in Georgia on Friday vowed to achieve justice on behalf of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man shot and killed while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood.
“We are going to make sure we find justice in this case,” Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes told reporters at a morning press conference. “We know we have a broken family and a broken community.”
Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. for the shooting death of Arbery. The 50-year-old suspect, who is facing a count of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, is the third person to be charged in the February slaying.
Bryan recorded the deadly encounter between Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory, and Arbery, which sparked outrage and protests across Georgia and beyond upon its release earlier this month. It shows Arbery jogging along a residential street, when he is suddenly pursued by two white men.

Three gunshots can be heard before the 25-year-old victim falls to the ground.

While Bryan did not pull the trigger, Vic Reynolds, director of the GBI, emphasized they had enough probable cause to warrant the felony murder charge.

“I can tell you if we believed he was a witness we would not have arrested him,” Reynolds said Friday, declining to provide additional details.

The clip, which Bryan recently leaked on social media, ultimately resulted in the arrests of both McMichaels on May 9, nearly two months after the murder was committed.

Arbery was jogging in Brunswick, a coastal city located between Jacksonville and Louisiana when he was shot and killed by 30-year-old Travis. His father, who was in the bed of the pickup during the shooting, told authorities they believed he was a burglar and that they’d tried to help police catch him earlier in the day.

Bryan claimed he was working in his yard during the day of the attack, where he spotted an unknown man being followed by a pickup truck he recognized. Bryan began filming, and got into his truck to follow the chase, he said.

He has repeatedly denied being involved in the shooting.

The Arberys’ family attorney, however, called for Bryan’s arrest earlier this week, alleging that he assisted the McMichaels in the murder.

“The evidence indicates that he blocked Ahmaud with his truck and allowed two other men to ambush and kill him,” the attorney said.

A recently released arrest affidavit obtained by WTOC backs that claim.

“The accused did attempt to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority, by attempting to confine Arbery utilizing his vehicle on multiple occasions during the above time frame, with the intention of confining and detaining Arbery,” it reads.

Reynolds said he does not anticipate any additional murder arrests, adding investigators have only a “few more things” to do in the course of the investigation.

All three suspects remained behind bars on Friday.

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