Georgia

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated Jan. 20, 2020

Summary

Key:

Legislation Achieved

Some Progress

No Progress

  • Demilitarization

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    No knock warrants
    1033 program
    Military-style training
    SWAT data

    Georgia a

  • For Profit Policing

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Civil asset forfeiture
    Quotas
    Cost of misconduct

    Georgia b

  • Broken Windows Policing

    Minor offenses
    Objective justification for stops
    Reporting stop details

    Georgia c

  • Accountability

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Reckless civil rights violation
    Independent investigation
    Qualified immunity

    Georgia d

  • Reinvesting in Communities

    Mental health response

    Education, housing, and community health resources

    Georgia e

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. In September 2020, the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Georgia General Assembly to ban no-knock warrants. HB 56, introduced at the end of 202, endeavored to limit the use of no-knock warrants. The bill died in committee

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.

Pending Legislation: HB 16, a.k.a. the "Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act" was introduced in January 2021 to limit the purchase of federal military equipment like controlled firearms, silencers, and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles.

Military style training

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage. Locally, the Atlanta Dept. received Blue Courage lleadership training in March 2019

SWAT data

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. State law dictates that any money forfeited by any agency must be turned into a general fund where the state can re-appropriate it for different programs and functions. This law, however, only applies to state agencies and not local law enforcement. House Bill 1086 proposed in March would have allowed civil forfeiture only in cases of criminal conviction. This bill was tabled and died at the end of the session.

Pending Legislation:
HB 19, introduced in January 2021, increases the burden of proof required to seize an individual's assets.

Quotas

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests. In fact, ticket fines and forfeitures account for over 50% of the general fund revenue in Georgia.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering.

Pending Legislation: HB 12, introduced in January 2021, decriminalizes possession of small quantities of marijuana.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop.

Reporting stop details

Some Progress:

Police Chief Law requires an agency to write a written report whenever an officer a) discharges a firearm b) takes an action that results in, or is alleged to have resulted in, the death of another person c) applies force through the use of lethal or less lethal weapons and d) applies weaponless physical force at a level defined by the agency.

Pending Legislation: HB 18, also introduced in January 2021 by Senator Sandra Scott, requires that after making contact, all law enforcement officers must report the demographic of the suspect, reason for the stop, duration of the stop, and resultant action.

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct, although Atlanta has a citizen's review board to keep officer's accountable.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

Some Progress:

Georgia has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Council has approved police officer curriculum training provided by Georgia's Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program. However, this program still focuses on dispatching officers, not mental health professionals, to crisis situations.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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