The Georgia House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that will repeal the citizen’s arrest law a year after two White men shot and killed unarmed Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.
According to CNN, the state House passed the HB bill 479 unanimously and “would roll back citizen’s arrest law in the state.” However, the bill needs to get the majority of state Senators’ votes before it is sent to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk to sign into law.
Arbery, 25, was jogging in a predominantly-White enclave of Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020 when a White father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, hunted him down and killed him while allegedly trying to conduct a citizen’s arrest. The two told authorities they thought Arbery may have been a burglar.
It took two months before the McMichaels were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault on May 7. The man who filmed the detention and fatal shooting of Arbery, William Bryan, has also been charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. He is also under investigation for sex crimes in a separate case.
Republican state Rep. Bert Reeves, who sponsored the bill, explained to CNN that “after (Arbery’s death) in Georgia last February, it is incumbent on us to act, to make sure that nobody can ever use this outdated, archaic Civil War-era law to chase somebody down, [resulting] in their death.”
This bill comes in the wake of the recently passed law in Kentucky that outlaws no-knock warrants after it resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor by cops in Louisville on March 13, 2020.