Ross: Maybe God wanted us to see this
There are three men on trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in February of last year: Travis McMichael, who fired the gun; his father, Greg, who was in the truck with his son; and a neighbor, Roddie Bryan, who took the now-famous video.
Bryan didn’t know Travis or Greg McMichael, but on the day of the killing, he too hopped in his truck to follow Arbery – apparently unaware that the McMichaels had done the same with their truck. As a consequence, Arbery found himself between those two vehicles.
While Bryan did not shoot anyone, he was still charged with murder under a Georgia law which states that if you contribute to another’s death – in this case by appearing to block Arbery from escaping – you are just as responsible.
However, Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough came up with a defense during closing arguments this week that caught me by surprise. He was explaining why his client, who initially disengaged after seeing the other truck, changed his mind and went back.
“The question is, why is he turning around?” Gough said. “I’m going to suggest to you that perhaps that you can call it karma, you can call it fate, I would call it divine providence. Somebody is guiding Mr. Bryan, whether it’s a conscience thought process or not. Something is guiding Mr. Bryan down this street to document what’s going on.”
Yes. The attorney is proposing that a divine power told him to make that recording:
“Mr. Bryan’s on his porch. Why does he go out? He doesn’t know. He gets in his car, he sits out there, he doesn’t even know why. He’s being guided — whether that’s by a God, if you believe in a God, or by some other entity,” Gough continued. “But do you really believe it’s just coincidence or chance? Do you really believe Mr. Bryan is trying to lie or deceive you at this point?”
That’s what the jury will have to decide. But I see a much larger implication here.
Because if God did inspire him to document this, God must have had a purpose. And based on the teaching that God is Love, maybe He wanted us to see how good people – who say they simply wanted to ask some questions – could end up killing an innocent man because they chose to bring a gun to the discussion.
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