Lawmaker pushes for hate crimes law amid Ahmaud Arbery controversy

Chuck Efstration

On the heels of a viral video that showed Ahmaud Arbery getting gunned down by two assailants in Brunswick, one Georgia lawmaker is advocating for the legislature to pass hate crimes laws in Georgia.

State Representative Chuck Efstration, a republican from Dacula, who happens to be the chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, today announced that he will advocate the “Georgia Hate Crimes Act,” or House Bill 426 when the 2020 legislative session resumes this year. 

“For two years, I have been working to pass a hate crimes law in Georgia,” said Efstration. “Speaker David Ralston made this bipartisan bill a priority in the Georgia House of Representatives last year, and I am calling on the State Senate to pass House Bill 426 as soon as possible.” 

According to recent reports, the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot near Brunswick, has renewed calls for the passage of a hate crimes law in the state.

The federal government and 46 other states currently have hate crime laws in place.

“Members of the Georgia House will be monitoring the Ahmaud Arbery case to see if we may need to review the law on ‘citizen arrests’ and other issues,” added Chairman Efstration.  “It is now time for the Georgia Senate to do the right thing and pass the Georgia Hate Crimes Act without delay.” 

Chairman Efstration says that the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus fully supported his efforts to pass the bill in the House during the 2019 legislative session. The bill has not yet received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee and is available for consideration when the 2020 legislative session resumes in the coming weeks.

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