Supporters pushing for Georgia to add a hate crimes bill rally at Arbery’s grave

Georgia

BURKE COUNTY, Ga (WJBF)- A Georgia state lawmaker wants to help push a hate crimes bill through quickly in light of the death of Ahmaud Arbery.   

More than two months after Ahmaud Arbery’s death and local law enforcement meets with family and the community to push for a hate crimes bill in Georgia.

“Hate crime can no longer be tolerated in Georgia,” said Georgia State Rep. Gloria Frazier, District 126.

Surrounding the final resting place of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery at a church cemetery in Burke County, came a special message from State Representative Gloria Frazier.

“I’m asking that the Lt. Gov. Geoff Dunan and Sen. Judiciary Chairman Jesse Stone to allow the hate crime bill to come to the floor of the senate for a vote when the Georgia General Assembly reconvenes on June 11,” said Rep. Frazier.

Rep. Frazier is talking about House Bill 426, The Hate Crime Bill, which punishes for crimes involving bias or prejudice.  It passed the House March 7 and was sent to the Senate.

“We are requesting when we return on June 11 and vote on this hate crime bill that we rename this bill to the Ahmaud Arbery Hate Crime bill,” said Rep. Frazier.

And Arbery’s mother speaking to local media for the first time saying she called law enforcement daily since her son’s death, for six weeks, until she received help.

“It was in the early stages of being covered up.  I don’t think until I got national attention.  It probably would have been a closed case,” said Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud’s mother.

Joining his mother was Arbery’s grandmother, aunt and cousin who all reflected on not just the case, but his life.

“He lived a couple of miles from there.  He runs all the time, so I just assumed he was looking for a different area to run.  That’s a beautiful area over there.  I’ve been over there several times since this has happened.  And, as far as him going in the house, I’ve done that plenty of times.  Houses under construction,” said Debby Dixon, Ahmaud’s aunt.

“Ahmaud was the baby.  Ahmaud was humble.  Ahmaud was a good boy.  I tell people to know Ahmaud is to love Ahmaud.  Ahmaud didn’t deserve to go the way he did,” reflected Cooper-Jones of her son.

Sen. Harold Jones says the Hate Crimes bill has a good chance at passing since the Governor is in favor of it.

“I’m in favor of both. I think from a logistical standpoint, it might be easier just take what the House gave us, pass that and move forward,” said Sen. Jones, of Georgia’s District 22.

Sen. Jones emphasizes that the country’s eyes are on the state of Georgia and he expects that this hate crimes bill will be on the Senate floor within days from when lawmakers reconvene June 11. 

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