An attorney for the family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed near Brunswick, Georgia, in February, says they want the man who recorded the incident arrested despite his attorney’s claim that he was not involved in the death.
“We are going to continue to push for the arrest of William Bryan for recording and participating in the ambush of Ahmaud Arbery,” S. Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys for Arbery’s family, told CNN’s Don Lemon.
Bryan shot the video of the incident.
Merritt’s comments were in response to Kevin Gough, an attorney for Bryan, who said Monday that his client had taken a polygraph test that confirmed he was not involved in the shooting.
“Mr. Bryan is not your enemy,” Gough said, directing his comments to the Arbery family. “Killing off the star witness for the prosecution will not help bring Ahmaud’s killers to justice.”
GBI told CNN it is not commenting on the active investigation.
Bryan recorded the video of the killing
On February 23, Bryan was working in his yard when he saw a person he did not know being chased by a vehicle he recognized from the neighborhood, Gough said in an interview with CNN’s Martin Savidge last week.
Bryan began filming the incident, at one point getting in his vehicle and following Arbery, who was being chased. In the video, Gregory McMichael is seen in the bed of pickup truck and Travis McMichael is near its driver’s side door as Arbery approaches.
The 36-second video was not released until about two months after the killing and would become a catalyst in the call for the arrest of the McMichaels, who have been charged with aggravated assault and murder.
Since Bryan’s identity has been made public, calls for his arrest have followed and protesters have been targeting Bryan and his family, Gough said.
Talking to reporters late Monday, Gough said that Bryan and his fiancée are in hiding, in fear of their lives, unable to go home and sleep in their own beds.
What was asked during the polygraph?
Gough says the polygraph test confirms that Bryan was unarmed at the time of shooting and that Bryan did not have any conversation with Gregory or Travis McMichael prior to the shooting. The polygraph shows that he had no conversation with anyone about criminal activity in the neighborhood, Gough said.
Bryan took the test voluntarily, Gough said. He has not been arrested or charged with a crime.
Gough asked the attorneys for the Arbery family not to pursue charges against Bryan.
“Mr. Bryan is not your enemy,” Gough said. “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,” he added.
Attorneys for the Arbery family still want Bryan arrested
Despite the plea from Bryan’s attorney, Merritt, who is representing the Arbery family along with Benjamin Crump, told CNN that the family wants Bryan arrested.
“His family deserves justice from not only the two men who have been arrested, but from anyone who participated in that act,” Merritt told Lemon.
“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 said. “The evidence indicates that he blocked Ahmaud with his truck and allowed two other men to ambush and kill him.”
Merritt said that he has not been contacted by Gough, nor have any of his co-counselors, even though Gough said during his Monday night news conference that he has tried to reach out to the Arbery family.