Georgia House unanimously advances bill that would limit citizen arrests

Georgia News

Rep. Bert Reeves (R-Marietta), left, hugs Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) after the passage of HB 479, which would reform citizen arrest laws, Monday evening, March 8, 2021. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s House has 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 showed the need for change.

Two of the three men charged with murder in Arbery’s death 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.

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