Georgia legislators to introduce bill to repeal citizen’s arrest law in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

Ahmaud Arbery: Georgia legislators to introduce bill to repeal citizen’s arrest

ATLANTA — A bipartisan group of Georgia representatives announced their plans to introduce legislation to repeal Georgia's citizen's arrest law.

State Representatives Carl Gilliard (D- Garden City), Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta), Don Hogan (R-St. Simon’s Island), William Boddie (D-East Point) and Gerald Greene (R-Cuthbert) will hold a press conference to discuss the proposed legislation Friday in Savannah.

Currently, Georgia law states that a private citizen can arrest someone if a criminal act is committed in his or her presence.

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“This legislation’s focus is to prevent civilians from taking the law into their own hands,” said Rep. Gilliard, who is the author of the bill. “Our citizen’s arrest law was created in 1863, and this law is clearly outdated as it was formed in the fashion of the Wild West. When individuals lose their lives at the hands of civilians that become judge and jury, we must use the power of the pen to move Georgia forward.”

The new legislation would prevent people from making citizen's arrests, including private detectives and security agencies.

The announcement comes as the trial begins in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased and gunned down in a Brunswick neighborhood by father and son who said they were attempting to make a citizen's arrest.

Greg and Travis McMichael, along a neighbor, have been charged with murder.

A group of protesters gather outside the Glynn County Courthouse while a preliminary hearing is being held inside for for Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan, Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga. The three are accused of shooting of Ahmaud Arbery while he ran through their neighborhood in February. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
A group of protesters gather outside the Glynn County Courthouse while a preliminary hearing is being held inside for for Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan, Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga. The three are accused of shooting of Ahmaud Arbery while he ran through their neighborhood in February. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Stephen B. Morton/AP)