Georgia Legislature Passes Hate Crimes Bill
"I think we're really at sort of a tipping point right now, and this has been brought about by some of the recent events that have been put visually in front of us on video that are impossible to defend," said Republican Bill Coswert about the passage of Georgia's first hate crimes bill Tuesday afternoon.
Calling it a "historic" event by Coswert, the bill was in a rush to be passed after the on camera murder of Ahmaud Arbery in the hands of Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34 who both claimed they were making a citizens arrest because they believed Arbery to be a murder suspect. After the video surfaced, it took two and a half months to charge the two with a crime even though the men used racial slurs as Arbery lay dying according to an investigator.
The bill is now on the desk of Governor Brian Kemp and if he signs, Georgia will be no longer be one of the four states standing without a hate crimes law leaving behind Arkansas, South Carolina and Wyoming. The bill, HB426, passed the state Senate by a 47-6 vote and the state house 127-38. Governor Kemp said after a legal review, he'd sign the bill into law.