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Repealing citizen’s arrest law doesn’t undo Georgia’s racism

Georgia and bigotry have a long and enduring relationship. Even with a white shooter facing hate crime charges and the possibility of the death penalty after killing six women of Asian descent and two others in the Atlanta area, anti-Black racism remains firmly entrenched.
This week encapsulates Georgia’s slow progress against hateful bigotry. Consider the citizen’s arrest law that Georgia’s governor repealed on Monday. Enacted in 1863, the law was initially used to allow white Georgians to detain enslaved people fleeing north, and later to justify hundreds of lynchings. After Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan followed and killed a Black man named Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga., last February, the McMichaels invoked the citizen’s arrest law to defend themselves.
Arbery was jogging when the McMichaels blocked his path with a pickup as William Bryan filmed the encounter. The McMichaels, who claimed Arbery resembled a man suspected of break-ins in the area, pulled guns. After a brief struggle Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery. Citing the citizen’s arrest law, a local prosecutor initially declined to charge the men. That is, until video of the shooting went viral.

 

Call me cynical, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp decided to repeal the citizen’s arrest law the day before the McMichaels and Bryan appeared in federal court and entered not guilty pleas

Read Full Article Here on the Inquirer

Photo: Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd | Glendale United Methodist Church

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