Georgia Republicans Are Determined to Be on the Wrong Side of History
Georgia republicans are determined to be on the wrong side of history!
But we cannot allow them to place our children in harms way. Georgia has been on the wrong side of history with voter suppression, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Kendrick Johnson, and now senate republicans trying to resurface Jim Crow laws by protecting police officers in Georgia who have a record of targeting Black, brown, LGBTQ and racial minorities.
The new language in HB 838 establishes extraordinary rights for police officers who are under investigation, including:
- to have all witnesses interviewed before the officer is interrogated;
- to receive notice about the nature of the investigation before the officer is interrogated;
- to be interrogated at a reasonable time – preferably when the officer is on duty and will be paid;
- to receive a copy of every question asked and statement made within 72 hours; and
- to be interrogated without offensive language or threats.
HB 838 creates an interrogation process for police officers with significant protections that they do not deserve and no one else is afforded. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution found that between 2010 and 2016 more than 180 Georgians were killed by a police officer, but no formal charges were ever brought.
HB 838 further reduces accountability by creating new rights for officers who are being investigated that are not being granted to anyone else. How, then, can lawmakers expect Georgia residents to trust an investigation process that depends on who is being accused? The simple answer is they cannot.
Shockingly, HB 838 also creates a hate crime for cops and other first responders. The bill would provide enhanced penalties for people who target cops and other first responders. There is no need to increase punishments for people who commit crimes against first responders who are adequately protected by Georgia law.
HB 838 passed the House on February 27, 2020 with a vote of
Yea (Y): 147 Nay (N): 0 Not Voting (-): 14 Excused (E): 19
It is now before the Senate for a vote, so contacting our senators is key at this point. Please contact the Senate leadership and your senator now and demand a NO VOTE on HB 838.
Call to Action
Here is a sample script for those willing to call!
“My name is [NAME] and I live in [HOME CITY]. I am calling/writing to express my concerns about the police protections added to HB838. Police officers who are being investigated should be subject to the same interrogation process as every other citizen. Police officers are responsible for the safety of our communities, our families, and our children. It is because of this responsibility that we should hold them to a higher standard of integrity and accountability, particularly when they are accused of wrongdoing. It is impossible for the community to trust an investigation when the process depends on whether the subject wears a badge. Considering the hundreds of police officers that have avoided prosecution for killing people in Georgia, lawmakers should be working to improve accountability, consistency, and fairness when investigating wrongdoing, not increasing inequity by further elevating first responders to a protected class. Police officers and first responders are already entitled to enhanced protections under Georgia law, additional penalties are not necessary.
I urge you to VOTE NO on HB838. This bill gives unfair advantages to undeserving police officers, and will further erode community trust in law enforcement.
Call to Action
Email Georgia republican leaders and let them know we will not stand for them to allow our state to be on the wrong side of history.
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Nan.Orrock@senate.ga.gov
If you're not on social media please call phone targets:
· Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan – (404) 656-5030
· Sen. Butch Miller – (404) 656-6578
· Sen. Mike Dugan – (404) 463-2478
· Sen. Steve Gooch (404) 656-0045
· Sen. Larry Walker – (404) 656-7454
· Sen. John Wilkinson – (404) 463-5257
GA Republican leaders Twitter Handles:
- Geoff Duncan - @GeoffDuncanGA
- Butch Miller - @Butch_Miller
- Mike Dugan - @mdugan30
- Steve Gooch - @StephenGooch
- John Kennedy - @johnfkennedyga
- John Wilkinson - @senjwilkinson
- Steve Henson - @SenSteveHenson
- Harold Jones - @SenHaroldJones
- Gloria Butler - @SenGloriaButler
- Emmanuel Jones - @emanueldjones
- Nan Orrock - @SenNanOrrock
Call to Action
Here are sample tweets or post to use to help bring awareness and accountability
A. In a sneaky last-minute move, Senate Republicans are trying to circumvent the legislative process by hijacking HB 838 to add outrageous protections for police officers under investigation and provide a special “hate crime” for offenses against cops & other first responders.
B. This amendment was just removed from the hate crimes bill, HB 426, yesterday. HB 838 is expected to be heard on the floor of the Senate THIS MORNING. Please contact the Senate leadership and your senator now and demand a NO VOTE on HB 838.