KEY POINTS

  • Civil rights attorney R. Lee Merritt said Tuesday he and Ahmaud Arbery's family would continue pushing for the arrest of William Henry, the man who filmed Arbery's shooting
  • Henry's attorney said Monday that Henry had passed a polygraph proving he wasn't involved in the shooting and pled with Arbery's family to stop calling for his arrest
  • Polygraphs are not considered "reliable" evidence and are inadmissible in court

The family of Ahmaud Arbery has called for the arrest of William Bryan, the Georgia man who recorded the video of Gregory McMichael and son Travis McMichael involved in an alleged shooting of Arbery.

“We are going to continue to push for the arrest of William Bryan for recording and participating in the ambush of Ahmaud Arbery,” R. Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney working for Arbery’s family, told CNN on Tuesday.

Merritt’s comment was in response to a statement Monday from Bryan's attorney that Bryan had passed a polygraph, better known as a lie-detector test.

“Contrary to speculation, the polygraph examination confirms that on Feb. 23 2020, the day of the shooting, William ‘Roddie’ Bryan did not have any conversation with either Gregory or Travis McMichael prior to the shooting,” attorney Kevin Gough told reporters. “Nor did William ‘Roddie’ Bryan have any conversation with anyone else that day prior to the shooting about criminal activity in the neighborhood.”

While Gough cited the polygraph, he also said he understood the test is considered inadmissible in court as evidence. This is based on longstanding legal rules that bar a polygraph’s results from being introduced as evidence because they aren’t considered “reliable.” The case cited most when talking about polygraph's use as evidence is 1998's "United States v. Scheffer."

Gough then pled for Arbery’s family to stop calling for Bryan’s arrest because it won’t help them see “justice” for the shooting.

“Mr. Bryan is not your enemy. Please stop, if not for the sake of my client's family, then for the sake of the Arbery family and the cause you fight for,” Gough said. “Killing off the star witness for the prosecution will not help bring Ahmaud's killers to justice.”

Bryan said previously his family has been receiving death threats over the Feb. 23 shooting in Brunswick, Georgia. He also lost his job after the video was released to the public, but the pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

“His family deserves justice from not only the two men who have been arrested, but from anyone who participated in that act,” Merritt said. “The evidence says that he went from his home, according to his attorney, and minutes later he was in his truck following Ahmaud Arbery, who was a jogger in his neighborhood, around. He recorded Ahmaud. The evidence indicates that he blocked Ahmaud with his truck and allowed two other men to ambush and kill him.”

Polygraph test Legal scholars and psychologists alike have cast doubt on the effectiveness of polygraphs, or lie detectors, like the one pictured here. Photo: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann