Man charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder did not bring up citizen’s arrest at scene

William 'Roddie' Bryan Jr., who filmed father and son Greg and Travis McMichael pursuing Arbery, never told the young man he was "under arrest."

A new report out of the trial of the three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery notes that one of the men involved never told the responding officer that he and his cohorts were trying to make a “citizen’s arrest.” 

Ricky Minshew, a Glynn County police officer at the time, testified Monday that he arrived at the scene of Arbery’s shooting on Feb. 23, 2020, where he found the 25-year-old laying on the ground in a pool of his own blood. 

Ahmaud Arbery Suspects
A Glynn County police officer at the time of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing at the hands of (from left) Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. testified that Bryan never told him Arbery was armed. (Photos: Glynn County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

According to an NBC News report, Minshew said he spoke with William “Roddie” Bryan at the scene, and the man told him he “blocked,” “cornered” and “cut off” Arbery, who was jogging alone through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in the city of Brunswick, Georgia. 

But asked by prosecutor Larissa Ollivierre if Bryan had mentioned that he was trying to make a citizen’s arrest of Arbery, Minshew responded, “No, ma’am.”

Minshew added that Bryan never mentioned that he saw Arbery with a weapon and also said Bryan never told Arbery that he was “under arrest” for anything. 

Arbery was shot and killed last February when Bryan and his neighbors, father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael, pursued the 25-year-old man running in their neighborhood. 

Bryan, who joined the chase after it had already started, recorded the interaction on his cellphone. The release of that video, which shows Arbery being shot dead at close range by Travis McMichael, led to widespread public outrage that finally resulted in murder charges more than 70 days after the crime was committed. 

On the stand Monday, Minshew testified that at one point, Bryan said to him, “Should I have been chasing him? I don’t know.” 

The ex-officer told jurors he did not provide medical aid to Arbery, who lay dying on the ground, because he “appeared to be deceased.” He said he radioed for emergency medical responders after hearing Arbery breathe what is known as a “death rattle.” 

The citizen’s arrest law being used by the McMichaels and Bryan as part of their defense was repealed in May of this year by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. 

As previously reported, Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, stood by Kemp’s side as he repealed the law. 

“Today we are replacing a Civil War-era law ripe for abuse with language that balances the sacred right to self-defense of a person’s property with our shared responsibility to root out injustice and set our state on a better path forward,” Kemp said in Atlanta. “Today, in honor of Ahmaud’s memory, we commit to taking this step forward together.”

Kemp applauded Cooper-Jones, who spoke at the event.

“Unfortunately, Ahmaud had to lose his life,” she said, “but the change that has been implemented since we lost him shows my family that he didn’t lose his life in vain.”

The McMichaels and Bryan have been charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment by the state of Georgia. They have also been indicted on federal hate crimes.

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