BRUNSWICK, Ga. — New video footage and other evidence from the day Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down as he jogged in a predominantly white neighborhood near his Georgia home shows that the three men following him, including one who filmed his killing, chased him for more than four minutes before the fatal confrontation.
Lee Merritt, the civil rights attorney representing Arbery’s family, confirmed to Fox News Monday that the footage exists. It has not been made public.
Journalist and activist Shaun King, who has been working with Merritt on Arbery’s case, wrote on Facebook Saturday that he and Merritt had confirmed that the previously-seen footage of Arbery’s Feb. 23 shotgun death was just a snippet of the footage that had been recorded by William “Roddie” Bryan, one of the three men chasing the unarmed black jogger through the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick.
Bryan thus far has not faced charges but the other two men, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, are charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. Each is being held without bond.
Travis McMichael is the person who pulled the trigger. An autopsy showed that all three of McMichael’s shotgun blasts hit 25-year-old Arbery, who stumbled away, collapsed on the road and died.
Police and prosecutors have come under fire for not charging the men sooner. No action was taken until more than 70 days after Arbery’s killing, at which point a prosecutor in the case had decided to put the evidence before a grand jury.
Merritt and others angered by the shooting pushed for immediate arrests. Ultimately, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation and, within days, had enough evidence to file charges.
“I can tell you that, based on our involvement in this case, considering the fact that we hit the ground running Wednesday morning and within 36 hours we had secured warrants for two individuals for felony murder, I think that speaks volumes for itself that probable cause was clear to our agents pretty quickly,” GBI Director Vic Reynolds said following the arrests.
King wrote Sunday that a “deep analysis” of the scene, 911 calls, police reports and eyewitness testimony indicate the length of time Arbery was chased.
“Ahmaud got away multiple times until they finally boxed him in,” King wrote. “That’s when the filming began. And then they murdered him.”
Lawyers for Gregory McMichael have also said additional footage of the killing exists.
“This case at first appears to contain some of the same elements that feed into the despicable and violent history of racism in our country, just based upon what little the public knows about this case up until now,” attorney Franklyn Hogue told WSB-TV in Atlanta.
“We know several other critically important facts. Those facts that point to a very different narrative,” his wife and co-counsel, Laura Hogue, told the news station.
The lawyers said Arbery’s killing was not a hate crime, but the Department of Justice is considering a request by Georgia’s attorney general to look into the case.
A large part of Attorney General Chris Carr’s request is that federal investigators probe the handling of the case by both the Brunswick and Waycross district attorney’s offices.
A fourth prosecutor has been assigned to the McMichaels’ case after those two prosecutors, as well as a third, recused themselves.
Gregory McMichael was a longtime investigator in the Brunswick DA’s office.
Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes is the new prosecutor on the case. Holmes is the first black woman to serve as district attorney in Cobb County.
In statements about the new video, King and Merritt allege that Bryan helped box Arbery in with his truck, from which he ultimately filmed the killing. King is leading a push to have Bryan charged in the homicide.
Authorities have said that Bryan is under investigation in the case.
Bryan’s graphic cellphone footage of Arbery’s slaying, which sparked nationwide outrage after it was leaked earlier this month, shows Arbery from behind as he jogs toward a white pickup truck parked on the roadway.
The owner of the truck, Travis McMichael, gets out of the truck wielding a shotgun. Gregory McMichael, a retired law enforcement officer armed with a .357 Magnum handgun, stands in the bed of his son’s truck.
Click here to see the footage of Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting. Warning: The footage is graphic in nature.
Arbery appears to run around the passenger side of the truck to avoid Travis McMichael. As he rounds the front of the truck, a shot is fired and a struggle for the shotgun ensues.
As he fights for his life, two more shots are fired.
WSB-TV learned late last week that the disturbing video, which led to massive protests and ultimately, charges against the McMichaels, had been leaked to a radio station by Gregory McMichael himself.
Brunswick attorney Alan Tucker told the news station that Gregory McMichael thought leaking the video would clear up some rumors circulating in the community. McMichael apparently did not suspect the outrage the footage would cause.
According to a Glynn County police report, Gregory McMichael told police he and his son followed Arbery because he fit the description of a man involved in several recent break-ins in the neighborhood.
A police official and documents obtained by the Brunswick News contradict those claims. According to the documents, just one auto burglary took place in Satilla Shores in the two months before Arbery’s shooting.
That was a Jan. 1 burglary in which a Smith & Wesson pistol was reported stolen from a truck in front of Travis McMichael’s home, the News reported.
In a 911 call made just prior to the fatal Feb. 23 chase, a resident told dispatchers a black man was inside a home under construction.
In the audio of the 911 call, the dispatcher appears to struggle to determine what crime, if any, was being committed.
The owner of the unfinished home, Larry English, later told reporters that nothing was stolen from the site and he had no issue with Arbery having been there.
It is not uncommon for passersby to explore the site of a home under construction.
Since being hired by Arbery’s family, Merritt has shared several snippets of footage that show people entering English’s property for a quick look around. No one appears to stop any of them.
All the other passersby appear to be white. In one video, two young boys enter the site.
“More alleged ‘trespassers’ entering the construction site where Ahmaud Arbery was last seen before his murder,” Merritt tweeted. “These children were not implicated in any crimes due to their presence at this location.
“No white person ever was.”
Surveillance footage from a nearby residence shows a man who appears to be Arbery enter the structure a short time before he was killed. He remains inside for a couple of minutes before emerging, empty-handed, and continuing his jog.
Footage from the site itself has also emerged that appears to show Arbery going to the property and looking around on at least one occasion before the violent confrontation that led to his death. A resident in the neighborhood has come forward and said the McMichaels had confronted a black man at the home construction site less than two weeks before the shooting.
See portions of that footage below, courtesy of WSB-TV.
The owner of the property, Larry English, has said he is “unaware if the confrontation on the property involved Ahmaud,” according to CNN.
Satilla Shores resident Diego Perez, who was keeping an eye on the property for English, has said, however, that he believes the man seen at the house on Feb. 11 was Arbery.
English’s attorney, Elizabeth Graddy, said English does not know the McMichaels. NBC News reported that she said her client never shared with the men the footage his motion-activated camera system captured of visitors to the construction site.
“He never linked any of these videos to any one person or Mr. Arbery,” Graddy said. “He didn't see these as burglaries.
“Even if there had been a robbery, however, the English family would not have wanted a vigilante response. They would have entrusted the matter to law enforcement authorities.”
See footage from the unfinished home minutes before Arbery’s death below. Listen to Graddy speak to ABC News.
Merritt has accused the Glynn County Police Department of urging vigilante justice in the case. He has obtained and shared a text message that he alleges to be between English and a law enforcement officer, Glynn County police officer Robert Rash.
In the image, which dates the exchange as taking place in December, English appears to share a clip from his surveillance camera.
“Your neighbor at (redacted) Satilla Drive is Greg McMichael,” the response states. “Greg is retired law enforcement and also a retired investigator from the DA’s Office. He said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera.”
The message goes on to provide English with McMichael’s phone number.
“This text message is a smoking gun,” Merritt wrote on Instagram. “Police told the homeowner where #AhmaudArbery was last seen to contact Greg McMichael to respond to people on his property. McMichael, in turn, gathered a posse and began hunting for Ahmaud or someone who fit his description -- catching up with him on Feb 23, 2020, (and) killing him.
“Police participated in the coordination of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and then hid their involvement. This represents the height of corruption.”
King also shared the image on Facebook.
“The local police told the owner NOT to call the police when he needed help, but to call Gregory McMichael instead, and that he would handle it,” King wrote on Facebook. “LET ME BREAK IT DOWN. The local police effectively deputized Gregory McMichael and told his neighbors to work through him when they had trouble INSTEAD of the police department.
“This is illegal. Gregory McMichael, and white men all over the neighborhood, had been told by the local police that they would cover them if they ever took matters into their own hands.”
King accused police investigators of failing to adequately investigate Arbery’s killing and of telling his mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, that her son had robbed a home and was shot by the homeowner.
“THAT NEVER HAPPENED. The police made all of that up,” King wrote.
Merritt called Rash the man who “set the plan in motion” that led to Arbery’s slaying.
The News reported that a Chatham County judge has been assigned to oversee the McMichaels’ murder trials. All the judges in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit have recused themselves because of Gregory McMichael’s history as a police officer and investigator for the Brunswick DA.
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