Feb. 23 marks one year since the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery and now Georgia has passed a law to overhaul citizen’s arrest, which will hopefully prevent killings like Arbery’s in the future.
According to CNN, Georgia’s House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 479, a bill that “would roll back citizen’s arrest law in the state.”
The bill still needs to go through the state Senate and then get signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.
Republican state Rep. Bert Reeves, lead sponsor of the new bill, told CNN, “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(Arbery’s death) in Georgia last February, it is incumbent on us to act, to make sure that nobody can ever use this outdated, archaic Civil War-era law to chase somebody down, (resulting) in their death.”
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, the Black Brunswick, Ga., man, was shot to death in February 2020 when a white father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael pursued him, allegedly believing that he was a burglar.
The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault on May 7, more than two months after Arbery was killed.
In addition, William Bryan, who took the initial video of the shooing, was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment charges. He also faces possible hate crime charges and is currently under investigation for sex crimes in an unrelated case
If HB 479 passes, it would be the first state in the country to overhaul a citizen’s arrest law.
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