Georgia House unanimously passed a law on Monday to repeal the law on the arrest of citizens after Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead in Braunschweig last year.
The law was put in place to help the men now in jail for Arbery’s murder avoid months of prosecution. It allows any Georgian to “arrest” another if they witness a crime, and Arbery’s killers argued they were pursuing him after he committed a burglary. However, there is no evidence that Arbery committed such a break-in.
Republican MP Bert Reeves carried the bill on behalf of Governor Brian Kemp, who has made amending the obsolete law a priority.
“At this General Assembly in 2021, each of us will have the opportunity to participate in Ahmaud’s legacy. And we owe it to his mother, we owe it to his father and all his friends, family and loved ones. And we owe it to Ahmaud, ”Reeves said.
“I want us all to face the opportunity and rewrite a law from history. But let’s also rewrite future history in Georgia. “
Democratic MP Park Cannon suggested naming the bill for Arbery, what Reeves described as a “great idea” he would be working on if the bill goes to the Senate, where it must be approved before it becomes law .
Kemp called the move “an important step in our efforts to eradicate injustices in the peach state while protecting the sacred right to defend ourselves and others”. He said it would prevent “rogue vigilantism from threatening the safety and God-given potential of all Georgians”.
The proposal breaks the existing language and replaces it with limited forms of citizen detention, such as B. a shopkeeper who has witnessed a theft and prohibits any use of force except in self-defense.
“The time has come. No mistake ever reaches the point where it can no longer be done right,” said Democratic MP Al Williams. “This is the time to be a shining example.”
“When this tragedy happened, our community couldn’t believe it happened,” said Don Hogan, Republican MP, who was an early supporter of the measure and represents the Georgia coastal area, where Arbery was born. “It was a heinous crime committed against a young man who is a citizen of my community.”
“It is the right thing. It’s old [law]. It’s out of date. We don’t need it, ”said Hogan of the cancellation.