Thursday, March 11, 2021

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

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


GA HB 479 passage



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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