ACLU of Georgia

Citizen’s Arrest Law

"Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law was outdated and had historically allowed slave patrols and lynch mobs to take the law into their own hands. It permitted people to weaponize their own racial biases and deprive innocent Georgians of their most basic liberties – freedom and life, which we saw with the senseless and horrific murder of Ahmaud Arbery. We must dismantle and revise laws that contribute to systematic racism and that are overall harmful and unnecessary. For these reasons, the ACLU of Georgia recommended revising Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law to bring it in line with the constitutional promise of ‘We the people’ so that it truly means all people.”

Christopher Bruce Political Director of the ACLU of Georgia

Georgia’s 250 year old citizen’s arrest law, enacted shortly after Georgia seceded from the Union, had allowed private persons to make arrests to preserve slavery during the Civil War.  The ACLU of Georgia worked diligently to repeal of this antiquated, racist, and dangerous citizen’s arrest law in Georgia which finally happened in 2021.