Newly released body camera footage has provided details regarding the moments following the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Ga., on Feb. 23. The video shows officers questioning Greg and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan directly after the shooting. Of course, all the body-cam footage really shows us is a thing Black people have known for some time: White people always assume they’re in charge.
WSB-TV 2 obtained and reviewed the footage, which shows Greg on the phone with 911 dispatch. He can be heard saying, “Travis, Roddie’s got it on film,” before officers approach him.
From Channel 2:
“You have any other weapons or anything on you?” an officer asks Greg McMichael.
“Just that one. If he would stop. this wouldn’t have happened,” he responds.
“You a passerby coming through?” another officer asks Bryan in a different body camera video. “Not necessarily,” Bryan replies.
Greg and Travis McMichael both told police they chased Arbery believing he had been breaking into a nearby construction site. Bryan admitted to following Arbery, blocking him in and recording the shooting on his cellphone.
Prosecutors charged all three men with murder. The defense claims the shooting was self-defense.
“I mean we were just this close to him. And he keeps on running,” Greg McMichael said. “So I grab my 357 magnum, Glynn County PD issued by the way.”
Imagine being so confident in your nonexistent authority that you believe a citizen has an obligation to stop for you just because you happen to be chasing him.
(Note: Georgia actually has a citizen’s arrest law, which critics want to be repealed in light of Arbery’s death. Still, no one with a working brain would think that the McMichaels’ suspicion that Arbery was involved in a string of burglaries in the neighborhood—which was apparently based solely on the fact that they spotted him at a vacant construction site—justifies an armed chase by regular-ass citizens playing redneck Batman.)
Greg is a retired investigator with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, but that didn’t stop him from mentioning where he got his gun as if that makes his retired ass any more official.
In fact, according to Channel 2, Greg was recognized by at least one of the officers on the scene.
More from Channel 2:
- First officer: “You know Greg?”
- Second officer: “No I don’t know him.”
- First officer: “Really? He was the chief investigator for the DA’s office.”
- Second officer: “This guy here?”
- First officer: “He just retired.”
As The Root reported last month, when the McMichaels were denied bail, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley stated that one of the reasons he ruled against them was because he saw evidence that Greg attempted to take the law into his own hands and use his past career in law enforcement to justify it.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Travis—the man who shot Arbery—can be seen in the video “splattered with blood and visibly upset.”
“Last thing I ever wanted to do in my life,” Travis said before echoing his father’s sentiments telling officers, “If he had stopped this wouldn’t have happened.”
“[Travis] had had no choice, man,” Greg told investigators, AJC reports. He also said—I shit you not—“To be honest with you if I could’ve shot the guy I would’ve shot him myself.”
Besides the shocking revelation that a bunch of white men thought they had the right to play vigilante and stop a Black man whose only real “crime” was not yielding to their non-authority, CBS News notes that the newly released video also reveals a contradiction to a claim by Bryan’s attorneys that their client was “never more than a witness” to Arbery’s death.
In the video, Bryan is heard telling officers, “I pulled out of my driveway, was going to try to block [Arbery], but he was going all around it.” He also said, “I made a few moves at him, you know? And he didn’t stop.”
Then Bryan said to officers, ”Should we have been chasing him? I don’t know.”
The answer is “no,” Bryan. No, the hell you shouldn’t have.