(BRUNSWICK, Ga.) -- Founding members of A Better Glynn Inc. and the 2:23 Foundation would like to extend our gratitude to the ACLU of Georgia and their partnership with Glynn County, which aided in overhauling Georgia’s Citizens Arrest Law. Amending this law, which is rooted in racism and used as a primary defense in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, was a necessary reform for our community and the state of Georgia.
2:23 Foundation co-founder Demetris Frazier notes, “This is long overdue here in Georgia. Last year our team got a shocking reminder that this law was still in place. One hundred fifty years after Georgia first passed it, there’s no way it should have been around in 2020.”
As we continue to advocate for a change in law enforcement and improved community relationships in Glynn County, we also feel it necessary to adopt a Citizens Review Board (CRB) for the Glynn County Police Department. The CRB would provide a means of joint accountability and transparency between law enforcement and the community. We believe that a Citizens Review Board may have prevented the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and could have quickly addressed a GCPD officer deputizing Greg McMichael to police the neighborhood Arbery jogged on that fateful day. With this system of checks and balances in place, at the very least, 74 days would not have passed between the crime committed against Arbery and the arrests effected. And the citizens of Glynn County would have seen accountability levied for the apparent failures in the GCPD response and investigation.
With the support of the ACLU of Georgia, Community First Planning Commission submitted a proposal to the Glynn County Board of Commissioners on November 17, 2020, to adopt a Citizens Review process. “The state of Georgia has taken a step forward to address the contributing factors that led to the death of Ahmaud,” said ACLU Political Director Christopher Bruce. “It's up to the people of Glynn County to continue the fight by passing a Citizens Review Board.”
We call on the Glynn County Board of Commissioners to adopt that proposal, as we believe that this is a critical next step in reforming law enforcement in Glynn County and rebuilding trust in the community. A Better Glynn co-founder, Bobby Henderson, notes, “It is now time for Glynn County to do what is required and necessary to bring justice full circle.”