SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Ten mayors across Georgia are calling on state lawmakers to repeal the states ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.
The mayors, including Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, say the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in February renewed the calls to repeal the law.
In the letter, they say the current law upends centuries of traditional self-defense doctrine and threatens public safety by encouraging armed vigilantism. The argument is the law allows a person to kill another in public even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger.
“This is an opportunity for us to be able to not only repeal it, but to be able to re-image it in terms of its current lens,” said Mayor Johnson. “Right now the ‘stand your ground’ law here gives no duty to retreat. Shoot first, you ask questions later. And we know that has a disproportionate impact on communities of color.”
The Mayor was clear though, that this isn’t an attempt to take away a persons right to defend themselves on their property or in their home if threatened.
In the letter signed by the Mayors, they say when a white shooter kills a black victim, the circumstances are deemed justifiable 11 times more frequently than when the shooter is black and the victim is white.
You can read the full letter below: