Georgia House unanimously votes to curb citizen arrests after Arbery death

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 8:26 AM EST
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ATLANTA - Georgia’s House voted unanimously for a bill to overhaul the state’s citizen’s arrest law. The move comes more than a year after a Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, was fatally shot after a pursuit by armed white men.

House members voted 173-0 Monday for the bill, which would generally bar bystanders and witnesses from making arrests. It now goes to the Senate.

Supporters say Arbery’s fatal shooting last year in Glynn County showed the need for change.

Two of the three men charged with murder in Arbery’s death — father and some Gregory and Travis McMichael — had said they were attempting a citizen’s arrest, suspecting a burglary.

Prosecutors say Arbery stole nothing and was out jogging when the men pursued him.

The third man charged in the death, William “Roddie” Bryan, captured the incident on video, although prosecutors allege he played a larger role.

Arbery’s slaying added fuel to nationwide protests over the deaths of Black people at the hands of police. Gregory McMichael is a former law enforcement officer, and the case wasn’t prosecuted for weeks, until it gained national attention and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation got involved.

Arbery has family ties to the CSRA and is buried near Waynesboro.

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