Assemblywoman Hunter: Anniversary of Ahmaud Arbery’s tragic death highlights need to ban citizen’s arrests

Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter (D-Syracuse) joined activists and communities across the nation in commemorating the one-year anniversary of Ahmaud Arbery’s death at the hands of white perpetrators motivated by racial bias who claimed to be conducting a citizen’s arrest. Assemblywoman Hunter and Sen. Michael Gianaris will soon introduce legislation to ban the citizen’s arrests in New York State.

“Citizen’s arrests are an outdated and unnecessary practice that must be removed from state law to prevent future tragedies and bias-based crimes,” said Hunter. “Many of those who attempt these arrests have no formal training and needlessly instigate confrontations based on prejudice and misinformation. I look forward to working with Senator Gianaris on this legislation so that New York can continue to lead the way in securing critical criminal justice reforms.”

On Feb. 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was jogging through Glynn County, Georgia, when he was pursued and killed by a group of white men who erroneously believed he was a burglar. The shocking murder, which was filmed by a member of the group, shows that the individual who fired the fatal shot used racial slurs in the immediate aftermath of the killing.[1] Three men have been charged in this horrific crime and Ahmaud’s mother, Wanda Jones, recently filed a civil lawsuit against the men involved as well as police officers and local prosecutors involved in the initial investigation.[2]