Georgia Gov. Kemp signs repeal of 1863 citizen’s arrest law

State News

Former state Rep Bert Reeves shakes the hand of Wanda Cooper Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery at the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta on Monday, May 10, 2021. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law sponsored by Reeves repealing citizen’s arrest in Georgia, partly blamed for Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting death near Brunswick in 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a repeal of Georgia’s Civil War-era citizen’s arrest law on Monday.

He took action a year after the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man pursued by white men who said they suspected him of a crime.

The state House and Senate passed the repeal by overwhelming margins after Arbery’s killing.

This means bystanders in Georgia can no longer make an arrest if a crime is committed in their presence.

It still provides for self defense and allows business owners to detain suspected thieves.

Georgia also passed a hate crimes law last year.

Wanda Cooper Jones, Arbery’s mother, says she’s “very thankful” for the repeal.

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