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New Police Bodycam Footage Shows Travis McMichael Blaming Ahmaud Arbery After Shooting Him

Newly released police body camera footage shows the immediate aftermath of the Ahmaud Arbery shooting, revealing more details about what happened when Glynn County officers arrived on the scene and spoke to the three men since accused of murder. One of them, Travis McMichael, is clearly covered in blood. During an exchange with police, McMichael blamed Arbery, saying, “If he would’ve just stopped, this wouldn’t have happened.”

The Feb. 23 footage records after 25-year-old Arbery’s death was entered into evidence when prosecutors showed a judge clips of the footage during last month’s bond hearing for Gregory McMichael and his son Travis,, WSB-TV reported on Tuesday. Bond has been denied for the McMichaels and Roddie Bryan, each of whom has been charged with felony murder.

The footage shows officers questioning the McMichaels immediately after Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery. The father-son duo had chased the unarmed Arbery through the Georgia neighborhood after seeing him running. The incident was filmed by Bryan, who was following the pursuit in a separate car.

As the officer questions Travis McMichael, McMichael blames Arbery and worries that the situation “doesn’t look good”:

Officer: “Do you have any other weapons on you? ”

Travis McMichael: “Just that.”

Officer: “OK.”

Travis McMichael: “If he would’ve just stopped, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Officer: “That’s fine. Like I said, just take a breath.”

Travis McMichael: “I want it done right. This doesn’t look good. I just shot a man. Last thing I’d ever want to do with my life.”

McMichael then tells the officer that they’ve “had break-ins” recently and his gun was stolen.

“We caught him the other day and I was outside and saw him running by—neighbors were pointing and everything,” McMichael says before the officer cuts him off.

Officer: “Saw who running by?”

“Him,” McMichael says, pointing toward the street, presumably at Arbery. “So we run out there to stop him and talk to him. He took off running. Stopped. He come out of the truck running at us. I told him ‘stop, stop, stop,’ til he hit me. I had nothing to do. There’s nothing else I could do.”

The defendants have claimed that the shooting was in self-defense.

Gregory McMichael is shown answering officers’ questions, saying he had his police-issued gun with him at the time of the shooting.

“I mean we were just this close to him. And he keeps on running. So I grab my 357 magnum, Glynn County PD issued by the way,” the elder McMichael said. One officer noted the Gregory McMichael had recently retired after decades in law enforcement.

Bryan also tells officers that he was “not necessarily” a passerby to the incident, admitting that he was intentionally following Arbery.

“After publicly absolving himself of having any part in Ahmaud Arbery’s modern-day lynching, this newly released body camera footage confirms what we had long suspected about William ‘Roddie’ Bryan,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said in a statement following the release of the video. “The footage clearly documents that Bryan used his truck to block Ahmaud from escaping the McMichaels. With the murderous teamwork of Bryan and the McMichaels exposed for the world to see, we are confident that this will bring us one step closer to justice for the Arbery family.”

Bryan is the one who recorded the killing. The leak of the video months later led to national outcry. Charges against the defendants soon followed.

It has been alleged in court that Travis McMichael called Arbery a “fucking n*****” after the shooting but before police arrived.

[image via YouTube screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.