Here is the latest Georgia news from The Associated Press at 7:40 a.m.

AP Top News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – Three Georgia men charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery are due in court. A judge scheduled a hearing Thursday to determine whether authorities have sufficient evidence to send the case to a trial court. Arbery was slain Feb. 23 after a white father and son armed themselves and gave chase when they spotted the 25-year-old black man running in their neighborhood. 64-year-old Greg McMichael and 34-year-old Travis McMichael were charged last month with felony murder and aggravated assault. They were arrested after cellphone video of the shooting stirred a national outcry. The man who shot that video, 50-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan, is also charged with felony murder.


DECATUR, Ga. (AP) – Around 1,500 protesters gathered outside a Confederate monument in Decatur, Georgia, as demonstrations continued throughout the state against racism, police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. The march started Wednesday afternoon in Decatur Square, home to a Confederate monument built in 1908 and a “contextualized” marker explaining the racist history of the monument and the Civil War. The crowd moved through the streets of Decatur, stopping traffic at intersections as police and sheriff’s deputies looked on. Organizers said they would sit down in an intersection at 8:50 p.m and demand an audience with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.


ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia’s legislature will resume session on June 15 under an agreement announced by House and Senate leaders on Wednesday. The 40-day legislative session was put on hold in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan announced the start date in a letter to members. The two previously had differing opinions on when to restart. When lawmakers reconvene, one of their biggest tasks will be grappling with a state budget that has been turned upside down by the pandemic. There have also been calls for Georgia to enact a hate crime law.


ATLANTA (AP) – Atlanta’s police chief was quick to condemn the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. And she acted swiftly, firing two of her officers after determining that they used excessive force against two Atlanta college students. But now she’s questioning a further crackdown on the officers. In an email sent to her department Tuesday night, Shields lashed out at the decision to charge six of her officers involved in the encounter. She says other law enforcement agencies are now pulling out of Atlanta rather than expose their officers to potential punishment for their actions during the city’s demonstrations.

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