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Lawyer for man who filmed Ahmaud Arbery's killing defends him for not calling 911 'because he couldn't film at the same time' and belittles his client's high school education during Chris Cuomo interview

Lawyer for man who filmed Ahmaud Arbery's killing defends him for not calling 911 'because he couldn't film at the same time' and belittles his client's high school education during Chris Cuomo interview
  • William 'Roddy' Bryan, who filmed the killing, and his lawyer Kevin Gough spoke to CNN's Cuomo last night
  • Bryan was trailing behind in his car when Arbery, 25, was gunned down in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23 by a white father and son, Gregory, 64, and Travis McMichael, 31
  • Before the leak of Bryan's 36 second video last week, no charges had been brought against the McMichaels
  • They were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault on May 7. The McMichaels' defense has been that they were making a citizen's arrest, suspecting Arbery of burglary
  • In a Glynn County police report, McMichael senior mentioned 'Roddy' being at the scene of the crime
  • Cuomo asked Bryan: 'In the police report, the McMichaels referred to a "Roddy," I'm assuming that was you, yes?' But he was quickly shutdown by Bryan's lawyer who said his client couldn't answer such questions
  • Gough added: 'My client is a mechanic with a high school education and if you've ever been to the high schools around here, that's not necessarily saying much'
  • Cuomo later asked why he hadn't called the police instead of filming the event. Gough responded: 'He can't use the phone for a phone call while he's using it as a camera'
The lawyer for the man who filmed Ahmaud Arbery's killing has defended him for not calling 911 'because he couldn't film at the same time' and belittled his client's high school education in a live interview.
Arbery, 25, was chased down and shot outside Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23. He was unarmed and his family said he was out for a jog. The killing was captured on video by William 'Roddy' Bryan who was trailing in a car.
Until the leak of that 36 second video last week no charges had been brought against Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34. They were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault on May 7.
In a Glynn County police report, McMichael senior mentioned 'Roddy' being at the scene of the crime. The McMichaels' defense has been that they were making a citizen's arrest after suspecting Arbery of breaking into and robbing homes in their neighborhood. 
Gregory McMichael claimed that they were trying to 'cut off' Arbery in their vehicle, according to the police report. It also states: 'McMichael stated [Arbery] turned around and began running back the direction from which he came and 'Roddy' attempted to block him, which was unsuccessful.'
Last night CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Bryan: 'In the police report, the McMichaels referred to a "Roddy," I'm assuming that was you, yes?'
But he was quickly shutdown by Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, who interjected: 'Okay, hold on, Chris ... You know what we can talk about without causing problems for anybody. And I know you're trying. But this man cannot be answering substantive questions about the case.'
Cuomo, who is himself a licensed attorney, threw back at the lawyer that he was 'afraid of the facts of this case.'
Last night CNN's Chris Cuomo spoke with William 'Roddy' Bryan (left) and his attorney Kevin Gough (right). Cuomo suggested that the lawyer was 'afraid of the facts of this case,' which Gough refuted
Last night CNN's Chris Cuomo spoke with William 'Roddy' Bryan (left) and his attorney Kevin Gough (right). Cuomo suggested that the lawyer was 'afraid of the facts of this case,' which Gough refuted
Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. They were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault on May 7
Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. They were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault on May 7
In a still from the video filmed by William 'Roddy' Bryan, Ahmaud Arbery stumbles and falls to the ground after being shot as Travis McMichael stands by holding a shotgun in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23
In a still from the video filmed by William 'Roddy' Bryan, Ahmaud Arbery stumbles and falls to the ground after being shot as Travis McMichael stands by holding a shotgun in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23
Gough responded: 'With all due respect, I'm not afraid of you, I respect you. You're a brilliant, a very good prosecutor. And my client is a mechanic with a high school education and if you've ever been to the high schools around here, that's not necessarily saying much. Okay? And I don't mind if the board of education doesn't like it.'
Cuomo later moved onto the issue of why Bryan had chosen to film the incident rather than call 911. The CNN anchor said: 'When you see something that you know is wrong ... you call the police, I don't care about his education.' 
Bryan's attorney replied: 'Well, first of all, he can't use the phone for a phone call while he's using it as a camera.'
And dismissing Cuomo's notion that he could have stopped filming to ring the police, Gough added: 'If my client had been two seconds, two seconds later, getting where he was, there wouldn't be any video. Not one worth watching. Not one anybody would care about. There'd be nothing other than a young man bleeding out in the street.'
Bryan's attorney went onto add that his client is not considered part of the altercation. 'He's a witness and that's all he's ever been,' Gough told the anchor. 'There is no relationship whatsoever between Roddy and the McMichaels.'
Yesterday it was revealed an autopsy had found Arbery was killed by two close-range gunshot wounds to the chest and that he was also shot through the hand while being chased down by the McMichaels. 
TMZ obtained Ahmaud's autopsy on Monday. The 25-year-old had no drugs or alcohol in his system, and was carrying two tan bandannas which were soaked with blood.
It has taken nearly three months and three different prosecutors for Travis and Gregory McMichael to be arrested and charged with his killing.
Georgia's Attorney General is now investigating the handling of the case amid claims that prosecutors passed it off to protect 64-year-old Gregory, a former police detective who recently worked in the local district attorney's office. 
The case has sparked outrage around the world and some say it is proof of persistent racism in the South. Over the weekend, people ran to honor what would have been Arbery's 26th birthday and armed protesters took to the street. 
On Monday, DoJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said: 'The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia have been supporting and will continue fully to support and participate in the state investigation. We are assessing all of the evidence to determine whether federal hate crimes charges are appropriate,' Kupec said in a statement.' 
The McMichaels have both been charged by the state of Georgia with murder and aggravated assault which carry maximum prison sentences of life. 
Georgia has no hate crimes as a state but the federal charge carries a maximum prison sentence of life when the hate crime results in death. A federal prosecution would supersede a state case and could negate it if the defendants were found guilty and the need for a state prosecution reduced.  
It comes as new surveillance video Arbery walking into a construction site on the day of his death, looking around the property and then leaving empty handed the day he was gunned down emerged.   
But the new video obtained by News4Jax appears to undermine their shaky burglary suspect claim. It shows Ahmaud walking into an under-construction house in Brunswick, looking around and then leaving without taking anything. 
In the two months before Ahmaud's killing, there were no reports of suspected burglaries in the area, and the owner of the under-construction property has spoken out to say they have no links to the McMichaels whatsoever.
Arbery's death has sparked nationwide outrage. A rally for the slain jogger was held Friday - the day he would have celebrated his 26th birthday
Arbery's death has sparked nationwide outrage. A rally for the slain jogger was held Friday - the day he would have celebrated his 26th birthday 
Ahmaud Arbery inside the under-construction home on February 23, the day he was killed. He walked into the house then left empty handed and was later shot dead by Travis McMichael who had chased him with his father, Gregory, a former cop
Ahmaud Arbery inside the under-construction home on February 23, the day he was killed. He walked into the house then left empty handed and was later shot dead by Travis McMichael who had chased him with his father, Gregory, a former cop 
Ahmaud had been out jogging when he came across the home. His family says the footage shows he was not a burglar and that he would have been guilty of trespassing at most
Ahmaud had been out jogging when he came across the home. His family says the footage shows he was not a burglar and that he would have been guilty of trespassing at most
Another video shows Ahmaud entering the property. It was taken on a surveillance camera on a different home
Another video shows Ahmaud entering the property. It was taken on a surveillance camera on a different home 
The video was shared by the property owner who said they had never had any contact with the McMichaels let alone did they call for them to investigate any break-ins. 
The attorney representing Ahmaud's family says the video shows that at most, Ahmaud would have been guilty of trespassing. 
It's unclear what time the video on the construction site was taken. 
According to the police report into his death, Ahmaud was shot dead at 1.46pm. 
A time stamp on a different surveillance camera video says he entered the construction site at 2.13pm. It's possible that camera was inaccurately running an hour fast. 
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it is now investigating the video along with the cellphone footage of Ahmaud's killing that went viral.
The property is owned by Larry English. 
Over the weekend, he released a statement through an attorney to say he neither called for the McMichaels to go after Ahmaud, nor did he condone in any way how they killed him. 
Ahmaud was killed while out jogging on February 23. It is unclear if he had come from his mother's house, which is just under two miles from where the shooting unfolded. The McMichaels said they saw him 'hauling a**' down Satilla Drive and that he'd been seen on surveillance cameras inside homes near them but it's unclear which homes they were referring to. He was shot and killed at an intersection not far from the houses
Ahmaud was killed while out jogging on February 23. It is unclear if he had come from his mother's house, which is just under two miles from where the shooting unfolded. The McMichaels said they saw him 'hauling a**' down Satilla Drive and that he'd been seen on surveillance cameras inside homes near them but it's unclear which homes they were referring to. He was shot and killed at an intersection not far from the houses 
First, and most important, the English family -- the homeowners -- want Ahmaud Arbery's parents to know that they are very sorry for the loss of their son and they are praying for them.

TIMELINE OF BOTCHED HANDLING OF THE CASE

February 23: Ahmaud Arbery is shot dead in the street in Brunswick, Georgia. 
Gregory and Travis McMichael had gone out in their car with guns to chase him because they mistook him for a burglar. 
When they caught up to him, Travis got out of the car. 
Jackie Johnson recused herself because McMichael used to work in her office
Jackie Johnson recused herself because McMichael used to work in her office 
Gregory says they told Arbery that they wanted to talk to him and that he attacked Travis. A struggle ensued and Travis fired his gun twice, killing Ahmaud, 25. 
Late February - First prosecutor recuses herself
Jackie Johnson, the Brunswick District Attorney, stepped down from the case because Gregory used to work in her office as an investigator. 
Mid-April - Second prosecutor says he won't press charges, then recuses himself
George Barnhill said Ahmaud initiated the fight
George Barnhill said Ahmaud initiated the fight 
George Barnhill was given the case. 
He at first said he did not think it merited charges because the McMichaels were acting lawfully by trying to carry out a citizen's arrest, which is legal in Georgia. 
He also said that the video 'shows' Arbery reaching for Travis' gun. 
Barnhill recused himself because his son, also called George Barnhill, works in the office where McMichael used to
Barnhill recused himself because his son, also called George Barnhill, works in the office where McMichael used to 
The first shot is fired however when the pair are out of frame. 
When the camera panned back to them, they were struggling again to the side of the vehicle. 
Barnhill said Travis was standing his ground by firing three shots which hit Arbery. 
He later had to recuse himself after it emerged that his son works in the Brunswick District Attorney's Office, where Gregory served. 
May 5 - Third prosecutor passes it on to grand jury   
Tom Durden is the third prosecutor to have the case come across his desk. 
He said that his office would approach it without prior prejudice.  
This week, he announced that he would not make a decision on whether or not to charge, and that he wants to convene a grand jury to take it on. 
May 7 - Georgia Bureau of Investigation files charges
The GBI announced that it was bringing charges of murder and aggravated assault against the Gregory and Travis on May 7. 
'Second, it is crucial to understand that the English family -- the homeowners -- were not part of what the McMichaels did. 
'The first accounts suggested a link between the McMichaels and the homeowners, but there is none. 
'The English family had no relationship with the McMichaels and did not even know what had occurred until after Mr. Arbery's death was reported to them.
'After seeing Mr. Arbery's photo in news reports, Larry English did not even think Mr. Arbery was the person that appears in this video. 
'Even if it had been, however, Mr. English would never have sought a vigilante response, much less one resulting in a tragic death,' his attorney, Elizabeth Graddy, told First Coast News. 
Ahmaud's parents' lawyer confirmed that it is him in the video. 
'This video is consistent with the evidence already known to us. 
'Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog. He stopped by a property under construction where he engaged in no illegal activity and remained for only a brief period.
'Ahmaud did not take anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property,' Lee Merritt said.  
Last week, after growing global outrage, the case was taken out of local prosecutors' hands to be investigated by the state. 
Gregory and Travis were both charged with murder and aggravated assault. 
Greg McMichael had investigated Arbery before when he worked as an investigator in the Brunswick DA's office. 
In a letter to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr recusing himself from the case, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill said that his own son and Gregory 'both helped with the previous prosecution of (Ahmaud) Arbery'.
Arbery had previously been sentenced to five years probation as a first offender on charges of carrying a weapon on campus and several counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer.
According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he was also convicted of probation violation in 2018 after he was charged with shoplifting.
Arbery had previously been sentenced to five years probation as a first offender on charges of carrying a weapon on campus and several counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer.
According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he was also convicted of probation violation in 2018 after he was charged with shoplifting.
Gregory, who retired from the DA's office in 2019, had not mentioned his involvement in the case to police. 
George E. Barnhill was the second DA to recuse himself in mid-April following pressure from Arbery's family. He claims he only learned of his son's link to the victim 'three or four weeks' ago. 
In his letter, Barnhill added that criminal charges against the McMichaels was unwarranted, citing the criminal history of Arbery's brother and cousin. Exclusive photos show the moment Gregory McMichael (pictured) and his son Travis McMichael were arrested at their home in Brunswick, Georgia, on ThursdayAn officer with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is seen leading 34-year-old Travis McMichael out of the home in handcuffs

An officer with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is seen leading 34-year-old Travis McMichael out of the home in handcuffs
PICTURED: Black Georgia man, 20, is arrested for setting up fake Facebook page in support of Ahmaud Arbery's two killers and threatening protesters who paid their respects at the spot where the 25-year-old jogger was 'lynched'
Rashawn Smith, 20, was arrested in Midway, Georgia, on Sunday after authorities alleged he created a fake Facebook account and used it to make a hoax threat against protesters demanding justice for murdered jogger Ahmaud Arbery
Rashawn Smith, 20, was arrested in Midway, Georgia, on Sunday after authorities alleged he created a fake Facebook account and used it to make a hoax threat against protesters demanding justice for murdered jogger Ahmaud Arbery
Georgia state investigators announced on Sunday that they have arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of creating a fake Facebook account and using it to post a 'hoax' threat against protesters angry over the killing of unarmed black man 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Sunday said state police arrested Rashawn Smith and charged him with dissemination of information relating to terroristic acts.
Smith allegedly created a fake Facebook page and used it to make threats against the protesters.
He was taken into custody in Midway, a town about 50 miles north of Brunswick.
Earlier in the day, the GBI said it had 'been made aware of a Facebook post that contains a threat to future protests related to Ahmaud Arbery'.
It was not immediately clear if Smith has an attorney who could comment on the charge.
Hundreds of people gathered alongside some 300 bikers in Brunswick on Saturday to honor Arbery.
The bikers were seen kneeling at the spot where Arbery was fatally shot on February 23 by two white men who claim they were making a citizen's arrest as they suspected him of a neighborhood burglary.On Saturday bikers were seen kneeling at the spot where Arbery was fatally shot. One of the balloons left at the site reads 'Happy birthday'. Arbery would have turned 26 on Friday
Hundreds of people alongside some 300 bikers gathered in Brunswick to honor Arbery on Saturday
Some of the protesters held up signs which read 'Our lives matter too!' and 'Dear white people, when you don't call out racism you are upholding white supremacy by default!'
Several of those in attendance near the Sidney Lanier Bridge wore face masks and t-shirts with the phrase 'I run with Maud' in tribute to Arbery.
The memorial ceremony on Saturday was held just a day after protesters gathered at the same site demanding justice for Arbery on what would have been his 26th birthday.
Georgia's attorney general on Sunday asked the Department of Justice to investigate the handling of Arbery's killing.
'We are committed to a complete and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the outset,' Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement.
'The family, the community and the state of Georgia deserve answers, and we will work with others in law enforcement at the state and federal level to find those answers.' 
Under Georgia law, someone who isn't a sworn police officer can arrest and detain another person only if a felony is committed in the presence of the arresting citizen. 
Georgia AG asks the US Justice Department to investigate Ahmaud Arbery's shooting as it's revealed top prosecutor who recused himself said slaying by two armed white men was 'justifiable homicide'
George Barnhill, Sr, the top prosecutor for the Waycross Judicial Circuit
George Barnhill, Sr (left), the top prosecutor for the Waycross Judicial Circuit, told police in February that the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery (right), 25, by two white men was a 'justifiable homicide'
Georgia's attorney general on Sunday asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the handling of the investigation into the killing of Arbery.
Arbery was killed on February 23 but no arrests were made until Thursday after national outrage over the case swelled last week when video surfaced that showed the shooting which was blasted as a 'lynching'.
'We are committed to a complete and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the outset,' Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement.
'The family, the community and the state of Georgia deserve answers, and we will work with others in law enforcement at the state and federal level to find those answers.'
Attorneys for Arbery's mother and father applauded Carr for reaching out to federal officials.
'We have requested the involvement of the DOJ since we first took this case,' attorneys S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump and L. Chris Stewart said in a statement.
'There are far too many questions about how this case was handled and why it took 74 days for two of the killers to be arrested and charged in Mr. Arbery's death.'
Last week, a Justice Department spokesman said the FBI is assisting in the investigation and the DOJ would assist if a federal crime is uncovered.
It comes after it emerged the Georgia district attorney who recused himself from the case told investigators that the fatal shooting was a 'justifiable homicide' and that the father and son duo who killed Arbery should not be charged.
George Barnhill, Sr, the top prosecutor for the Waycross Judicial Circuit, told police in Glynn County on February 24 – the day after the shooting – that there was insufficient evidence to charge Travis McMichael, 34, and his 64-year-old father, former police officer Greg McMichael.
The Glynn County Police Department released a statement to The Brunswick News on Saturday saying Travis and Greg McMichael were brought in for questioning at around 3.30pm on February 23. 
Earlier this week, two Glynn County commissioners said that the current Brunswick District Attorney, Jackie Johnson, also blocked police from arresting the McMichaels because she was friends with Gregory McMichael.
Officers investigating the scene of the fatal shooting on February 23 told Johnson's office that they had cause to arrest the father and son at the time but the DA shut them down.
Gregory McMichael had worked as an investigator in her office until his retirement in 2019 causing Johnson to recuse herself from the case a few days after the shooting.
'She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael,' Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker told The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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