Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to sign a repeal of the state’s citizen’s arrest law on Monday — a move sparked by the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery last year.
The measure, which came under consideration by state lawmakers following Arbery’s death at the hands of three white men, will overhaul a Civil War-era law that allows civilians to make citizen’s arrests if they believe a crime was committed, WTVY-TV said in a report.
The new law prohibits citizens from making an arrest if a crime is committed in the person’s presence or “within their immediate knowledge.”
But it still allows for self-defense and for business owners to detain suspected thieves.
Licensed security personnel and restaurant employees could still detain a suspect if they are stealing or refusing to pay for food.
The law has been on the books in the Peach State since 1863.
Kemp is expected to sign the bill at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol, with Arbery’s mother expected to be on hand for the signing ceremony, the outlet reported.
Arbery’s caught-on-video death came as he jogged through a residential neighborhood in Brunswick on Feb. 23, 2020 — only to be chased down by three men who suspected him of committing a crime.
Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and local resident William “Roddie” Bryan got into their pickup trucks and tried to block Arbery’s path — claiming they thought he was a burglar who had been targeting the neighborhood.
The footage shows the McMichaels cornering the 25-year-old victim when Travis McMichael gets out with a shotgun and shoots Arbery after a brief struggle.
All three suspects are facing state murder charges in the case — and last month were hit with federal hate crime charges as well.