A Georgia sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay and is facing termination after making comments about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
According to ABC 7, Paul Urhahn of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office recently made the social media comment while reacting to Arbery’s murderers’ life-long prison sentences.
“That criminal arbery still got the death penalty though,” he wrote underneath one of WGXA’s social media posts about the sentencing.
The since-deleted comment drew criticism from residents across Georgia, including activist Eli Porter with the local Poor And Minority Justice Association.
“That deputy represents that entire department and for him to say something like that… It got under my skin,” Porter told ABC 7.
Urhahn’s comment was also brought to the attention of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, which launched an investigation into the incident. That probe concluded on Monday morning (Jan. 10), ABC 7 writes, with Urhahn’s suspension taking effect on Tuesday.
According to Sheriff Cullen Talton, Urhahn broke several department policies by leaving the comment. He can, however, appeal his suspension within 10 days. If he does not appeal the decision by that time, he will be terminated from the department on Jan. 20.
Sheriff Talton released a statement about the investigation and Urhahn’s suspension, but did not apologize for the deputy’s behavior. Porter told ABC 7 he feels it’s necessary for the sheriff to apologize “to make sure that everybody knows that the sheriff’s office does not stand with what Paul said.”
As reported by REVOLT, Arbery’s killers — Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. — were sentenced to life in prison last week after being convicted of Arbery’s murder in November. Judge Timothy Walmsley handed father and son Gregory and Travis life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 20 years; while Bryan will have the possibility of parole.
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