Governor Brian Kemp has announced bipartisan legislation which is intended to overhaul Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute. The measure is being carried by Representative Bert Reeves of Marietta.
Reforms to the statute are intended to prevent acts of vigilantism and keep all communities safe, according to Kemp, who adds that the legislation does not infringe upon citizens’ rights to defend themselves or others.
Kemp asserted, “This bill repeals the current Civil War-era statute in order to prevent the terrible consequences of a vague and outdated law, and clarifies when a citizen, business owner, or law enforcement officer may reasonably detain an individual.”
The bill has garnered the support of the Georgia General Assembly, the law enforcement community, and among civil rights advocacy groups. It follows the killing in Glynn County of Ahmaud Arbery almost one year ago, in which the defendants have pleaded not guilty under the citizens arrest law.