Georgia judge rules out referendum on abolishing police department in Black jogger case

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that voters cannot decide to abolish the Glynn County Police Department over its handling of the murder of a Black jogger, an incident captured on a cellphone video that created a national outcry. Liberty County Judge Charles Rose ruled that the authority to abolish a police department rests with local officials and was not subject to a public referendum. The move to abolish the Glynn County Police Department was spurred by the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, by two white men, including a former police officer

Reuters September 12, 2020 00:10:42 IST
Georgia judge rules out referendum on abolishing police department in Black jogger case

Georgia judge rules out referendum on abolishing police department in Black jogger case

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that voters cannot decide to abolish the Glynn County Police Department over its handling of the murder of a Black jogger, an incident captured on a cellphone video that created a national outcry.

Liberty County Judge Charles Rose ruled that the authority to abolish a police department rests with local officials and was not subject to a public referendum.

The move to abolish the Glynn County Police Department was spurred by the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, by two white men, including a former police officer. The killing occurred in February but the suspects were charged only after state authorities become involved two months later.

Michael Browning, the chair of the Glynn County Board of Commissioners, said that it was the right decision.

"This was unconstitutional from the get-go," said Browning who pushed for the lawsuit to stop the referendum.

State Senator William Ligon, who started ballot initiative was not immediately available for comment. The state legislature approved of the referendum in June and Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law in August, prompting the county commission's lawsuit.

A former Glynn County police officer, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, were charged with murder and aggravated assault in the Arbery case.

Police say Gregory McMichael saw Arbery jogging through his neighborhood outside of Brunswick and said he believed Arbery looked like a burglary suspect. The elder McMichael called his son and the two armed themselves and drove after Arbery.

The cell phone video appears to show Arbery was chased and shot with a shotgun. The Department of Justice is investigating the police department over the delay in bringing charges.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.