UPDATED 5/22, 11:26 p.m. ET: TMZ reports authorities as saying William "Roddie" Bryan was charged in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery because they believe he attempted "to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority." They continued by alleging that Bryan used "his vehicle on multiple occasions during the above time frame, with the intention of confining and detaining Arbery," which accounts for the false imprisonment charge he was hit with.
"We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process," the legal team for Arbery's family said, per TMZ. "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."
See original story below.
The man who filmed Ahmaud Arbery's fatal shooting has been arrested in connection to the February incident.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed Thursday that 50-year-old William "Roddie" Bryan was being booked into Glynn County Jail on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The news comes after increasing calls for the arrest of Bryan, whose cell phone footage catapulted the case into the national spotlight.
"We are going to continue to push for the arrest of William Bryan for recording and participating in the ambush of Ahmaud Arbery," Lee Merritt, the Arbery family's attorney, told CNN this week.
On Feb. 23, former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, began pursuing Arbery as he was jogging in a residential area in Georgia. The men said they believed the 25-year-old black man was a burglary suspect, so they armed themselves, got into a truck, and confronted him down the road. Moments after stopping the vehicle, Travis got into a physical altercation with Arbery and shot him multiple times in the chest. Arbery was pronounced dead at the scene.
Georgia authorities initially declined to pursue charges against the McMichaels, arguing they were acting under the state's self-defense and citizen's arrest statutes; however, footage of the deadly shooting surfaced in early May, sparking national outcry for justice. The McMichaels were arrested on murder and aggravated assault charges.
Bryan, who lived in the neighborhood where Arbery was killed, told authorities he followed the McMichaels truck after he saw the father and son chasing a man down the road. His attorney, Kevin Gough, insists his client was nothing more than a witness and played no role in Arbery's death.
"Mr. Bryan is not your enemy," Gough said, as reported by CNN. "Please stop, if not for the sake of my client's family, then for the sake of the Arbery family and the cause you fight for. Killing off the star witness for the prosecution will not help bring Ahmaud's killers to justice."
"The evidence says that he went from his home, according to his attorney, and minutes later he was in his truck following Ahmaud Arbery, who was a jogger in his neighborhood, around. He recorded Ahmaud," Merritt told CNN's Don Lemon. "The evidence indicates that he blocked Ahmaud with his truck and allowed two other men to ambush and kill him."