A Georgia Superior Court judge decided in a hearing held Friday that SB 38 and SB 509, which sought to allow voters to vote on a referendum to abolish the Glynn County Police Department, would not be allowed on the ballot.
The Glynn County Police Department was embroiled in controversy when it oversaw the investigation into the deadly shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. In response, the two senate bills were introduced and passed in August to first amend the Georgia Code to allow for a method to abolish the local police department and then a bill to do just that. The Glynn County Board of Commissioners soon filed an injunction with the court claiming that the bills were unconstitutional and requested to block SB 509 from going up to vote in the November state-wide general election.
The Commission argued that the senate bill is a violation of election law by forcing them to spend “funds and resources to hold a special election that is void and unconstitutional.” Judge Charles Rose ultimately agreed that the decision to abolish a local police department is handled by local officials, and should not be up for vote by the public. In addition, Judge Rose granted the injunction and the referendum will not appear on the upcoming November ballot.