Racism

Georgia cop gets fired after saying Ahmaud Arbery was a ‘criminal’ who got ‘the death penalty’

[Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Paul Urhahn is from Texas. He’s from Georgia. The article has been updated.]

A Georgia deputy will be fired over comments he made on Facebook last week about Ahmaud Arbery, WMAZ reports.

Paul Urhahn, who was a 20-year veteran of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, came under fire for a post he made where he wrote, “That criminal Arbery still got the death penalty though.” Urhahn made the comments on a local news outlet’s Facebook page that was reporting on the sentencing of Arbery’s killers to life in prison.

Urhahn later deleted his comments, but not before screenshots of his comments started circulating and sparked a wave of backlash.

“If these allegations are found to be true, I agree that he should be removed from office,” said Jonathan Johnson, Houston County’s NAACP chapter president. “I don’t think that I would feel or anyone else in the community would feel like supporting someone who doesn’t support all the people in the community.”

Houston County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Billy Rape said that Urhahn would be fired for violating the department’s code of conduct. “He is suspended pending termination,” said Rape, who added that Urhahn “had 10 working days from today through the 20th at 5 p.m. to file for an appeal hearing.”

His firing will be effective in one week.

This is not the first time Urhahn has been under scrutiny for racially insensitive comments. In 2020, he was allegedly captured on a doorbell camera using a derogatory word against a young Black woman. But since the incident could not be confirmed, he was never disciplined.

Arbery, 25, who was Black and unarmed, was killed in Feb. 2020 as he was passing through the Georgia city of Brunswick on foot when Wphite father-son duo Travis and Greg McMichael accused him of burglary and began chasing him in their truck. The McMichaels were convicted on all charges and will spend their lives in prison without the possibility of parole. William “Roddie” Bryan, a neighbor of the McMichaels, joined in on the chase caught the incident on video. He was also convicted and will spend his life in prison with the possibility of parole.

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