SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The “Power Of The Pen” documentary follows the passing of Georgia’s house bill 479, which repealed and replaced the state’s citizen’s arrest law that dated back to 1863.
Garden City Rep. Carl Gilliard said it likely played a role in convicting Ahmaud Arbery‘s killers.
“Georgia had adopted a law that already had racial intentions and so I decided to write house bill 45, then 1203 then to 479,” Gilliard said.
The documentary takes an in-depth look at the process of overhauling the law that had allowed citizens to make an arrest if they witnessed a crime.
“So, I wanted to do a documentary to talk about civics,” says Gilliard. “What a legislative does. How difficult it is to take it from the pen to the paper, to the committee, to the floor, and to the governor’s hand.”
The editor of the film said it’s a topic that hits close to home for people in the area as well as students on campus.
“I even know a few students that grew up in Brunswick where Ahmaud Arbery was killed and knew the family or some connection to him,” said Kareem McMichael, editor of the documentary. “So, for a lot of students seeing this meant a lot to them because it was a law that could truthfully affect how they are interacted with in the public and throughout the state of Georgia. And in other states that are also repealing the law as well.”
McMichael also hopes it will add some trust in the legislative process.
“Know that their voice matters and they can implement legislation as well whether it be high school, college, or any other capacity,” McMichael said.