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Bill overhauling Georgia's citizen arrest law heads to Gov. Kemp's desk

Georgia moving to repeal citizen's arrest after Arbery death
Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 17:35:09-04

ATLANTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The Georgia House passed HB 479 unanimously, overhauling Georgia's citizen's arrest statute. The bill now heads to Governor Brian Kemp's desk for signature.

The bill also passed unanimously in Georgia's Senate.

"Our overhaul of the Georgia's citizen's arrest statute strikes a critical balance by allowing Georgians to protect themselves and their families, while also repealing Civil War-era language in our laws that is ripe for abuse," said Governor Kemp. "This legislation has broad support among law enforcement, civil rights groups, and in the General Assembly. I appreciate the dedicated work of Rep. Bert Reeves (R - Marietta), Rep. Chuck Efstration (R - Dacula), Senator Bill Cowsert (R - Athens), Senator Brian Strickland (R - McDonough), members of the minority party, and the leadership of both chambers to pass HB 479 with overwhelming bipartisan support. I look forward to signing it into law as we continue to send a clear message that the Peach State will not tolerate sinister acts of vigilantism in our communities."

One passed, Georgia will be the first state in the country to pass a repeal and reform of its citizen's arrest statute.

Repealing the 1863 law that lets private citizens make an arrest, gained widespread support after the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery.

Arbery was a Black man chased down by white men who said they suspected he had committed a crime.