Legislators call for hate crimes bill passage

In Savannah Morning News by Maya

Savannah state legislators Sen. Lester Jackson and Rep. J. Craig Gordonled calls Tuesday for passage of a bill that would impose a minimum sentence for hate crimes.

The Feb. 23 death of Ahmaud Arbery, an African American, at the hands of two white men in Brunswick spurred the two Democrats, along with Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, and Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon, to appeal for the hate crimes bill during a news conference Tuesday at the Brunswick courthouse.

The lawmakers also called on Gov. Brian Kemp to remove the two district attorneys who handled the case originally.

“No one can argue that they mishandled justice. No one can argue that they mishandled righteousness. No one can argue that they did the family wrong,” Jackson said of Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill of the neighboring Waycross Judicial Circuit. “They did their jobs wrong, and that alone disqualifies them from continuing to hold office.”