Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed legislation allowing additional penalties to be imposed for crimes motivated by a victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation or other factors, removing Georgia from the dwindling list of U.S. states without a hate crimes law.
State lawmakers acted with haste to pass the previously stalled legislation following the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, as well as recent nationwide protests against racial injustice. Arbery was a 25-year-old Black man pursued and fatally shot while running near Brunswick, Georgia, in February. The law becomes effective July 1. It also mandates the collection and reporting of data on hate crimes investigated by law enforcement.