The Georgia attorney who said last week that he released the video showing Travis McMichael shooting black jogger Ahmaud Arbery now says it was one of the suspects who carried that video to Brunswick radio station WGIG.
WSB-TV spoke again with Alan Tucker, who said Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael’s father, brought the video to him for help downloading it and that he did not consult with the McMichaels as an attorney, only as a friend.
The video was filmed by William “Roddie” Bryan, a friend of the McMichaels who was following Arbery as he jogged in the Satilla Shores neighborhood on February 23. When Arbery arrived where the McMichaels had stopped their truck, he tried to run around the truck and tussled with Travis McMichael, who had been waiting outside the truck with is shotgun. Travis McMichael fired three shots, at least two of which hit Arbery, killing him, as CrimeOnline has previously reported.
The startling video brought national attention to the case, which had languished in two prosecutors’ offices with little progress. The video prompted the appointment of a third prosecutor, who asked for help from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI took 36 hours to arrest both McMichaels for murder.
Tucker told WSB that Gregory McMichael, a former Glynn County deputy who frequently failed to complete trainings required to keep his law enforcement certification before retiring last year, wanted to release the video to clear up rumors that were circulating and that he clearly had no idea it would spark outrage. Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Arbery’s mother, went a step further.
“I have no doubt that Mr McMichael and his son believed that what they did was okay,” said Merritt.
Chris Stewart, another attorney representing Arbery’s family, said he has questions about the length of the video, which shows the last 36 seconds before Arbery falls dead on the street.
Tucker said he helped his friend out because “I didn’t want the neighborhood to become another Ferguson,” referring to the Missouri town that erupted into nightly protests after a police officer shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown. But then he added something Stewart called “significant.”
“That young man did not deserve to be shot,” Tucker said. “There is no reason in the world for Travis to pull a shotgun out of a damn truck. None.”
WSB reported that WGIG radio personality Scott Ryfun, who was the recipient of the leaked video, said that he was on the air and did not see the person who dropped it off. The description of the person who dropped it off, however, does appear to match Gregory McMichael.
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[Featured image: Ahmaud Arbery/Handout]