May 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Georgia repeals citizen's arrest law after Ahmaud Arbery shooting

Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, stands in front of a painting of her son after a candlelight vigil for Arbery at New Springfield Baptist Church on February 23
Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, during a candlelight vigil for her son at New Springfield Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Georgia, on the first anniversary of his death in February. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Monday signed into a bill repealing a citizen's arrest law from 1863.

Why it matters: The legislation was passed in response to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, who Kemp said had been "a victim of vigilante-style violence that has no place in our country or our state."

"Today we are replacing this Civil War-era law, ripe for abuse, with language that balances the sacred right of self-defense of person and property with our shared responsibility to root out injustice and set our state on a better path forward."
ā€” Kemp

What they're saying: Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Arbery, said after the signing that the legislation "will make people think before they take action into their own hands," per AP.

The big picture: Arbery was out jogging when he was shot on Feb. 23, 2020.

  • Three white men who told police they suspected Arbery had committed a burglary are facing charges including murder and hate crimes over his death.
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