(media release from the Office of Governor Brian Kemp):
On Monday, Governor Brian Kemp signed H.B. 479 to overhaul Georgia’s antiquated citizen’s arrest statute. The Governor was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators, advocacy organizations, and members of Ahmaud Arbery’s family.
“Today, I was proud to sign H.B. 479 to overhaul Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute, while also protecting every Georgian’s sacred right to defend their person and property,” said Governor Kemp. “After the tragic killing of Ahmaud Arbery, we knew that action was needed to ensure an antiquated, Civil-War era statute could not be used to justify rogue vigilantism in the Peach State.
“I want to thank former Rep. Bert Reeves – one of my administration’s floor leaders – and Senator Bill Cowsert for carrying the legislation and for their tireless efforts, and Speaker Ralston, Lt. Governor Duncan, and members of both chambers for their support. I also greatly appreciate the willingness of many Democrats to work with us to gain unanimous support in the Georgia House and overwhelming approval in the Georgia Senate.
“There is no doubt we still have challenges to face together and we will not always agree on how best to get there. But I believe that Georgia will always meet the moment and do what is right.”