GoFundMe ends fund for man convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery case

Last week, William “Roddie” Bryan, as well as father and son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

A spokesperson for GoFundMe said on Thursday that the fundraising platform had shut down three campaigns for Bryan this week before any money was raised.

“GoFundMe prohibits raising money for the legal defense of a violent crime,” said the spokesperson. The fundraising campaign had been started by Bryan’s fiancée, Amy Elrod, and posted a goal of $300,000. Elrod also asked people to send funds to a Venmo account that she posted to her Facebook page. “We are asking for help with our appeal fund for William ‘Roddie’ Bryan,” the post read. “He filmed the Ahmaud Arbery shooting in Satilla Shores Brunswick, Ga.”

Bryan and the McMichaels chased down Arbery, 25, last year after they saw him running through Satilla Shores, the neighborhood where they resided. The group testified that they were trying to conduct a citizen’s arrest because they suspected Arbery was a burglar.

According to Travis McMichael, he shot Arbery at close range with a shotgun in self-defense as he claimed Arbery made a play for the gun. The younger McMichael was found guilty on all nine counts, two of which was malice murder and felony murder. Bryan’s cellphone footage had been leaked, which led to the arrests of the three men. 

Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, argued that Bryan should have the right to raise funds for his defense. “The right to counsel,” he said, “a guarantee enshrined in our Constitution, means little if ordinary people like Roddie Bryan cannot raise funds for their defense – and that includes the right to raise funds for appeal.”

Gough added that Bryan’s relatives and friends set up a new account on Spotfund “to fund what are likely to be considerable legal costs associated with his appeal.” The money, according to Gough, is not for him, so he asked people to be generous, but that campaign was also removed.




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