Georgia House unanimously passes overhaul of state’s citizen’s arrest law

March 11, 2021

Invoking the name of a Black Brunswick area man who was shot and killed last year, the Georgia House unanimously voted to overhaul a Civil War-era state law that allows Georgians to arrest someone they suspect of committing a crime.

The citizen’s arrest law came under renewed scrutiny after it was cited by a prosecutor last year to justify not charging three white men involved in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.

The rollback of the law is a top priority of Gov. Brian Kemp, who said the overhaul strikes a critical balance between protecting the lives and livelihoods of our families, our friends and our neighbors, and preventing rogue vigilantism from threatening the security and God-given potential of all Georgians.

It passed by a 173-0 vote, an overwhelming show of support that surprised even veteran Capitol observers.

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