Georgia Deputy Who Disparaged Ahmaud Arbery On Facebook Resigns

The veteran officer didn’t bother to apologize in his resignation letter for calling Arbery a ‘criminal’ who got the ‘death penalty.’

A Georgia sheriff’s deputy whose social media comment about Ahmaud Arbery ignited a firestorm resigned under the threat of getting fired.

Local station WGXA obtained former Houston County Deputy Paul Urhahn’s Jan. 16 resignation letter. In it, the 20-year law enforcement veteran stepped down without formally apologizing for what he described as “a very unfortunate series of events” that occurred during his “off-duty time while exercising my constitutional right to free speech.”

Urhahn commented on a Jan. 7 WGXA Facebook post that announced life sentences for the three white men who chased and killed Arbery, an unarmed Black man, in February 2020.

“That criminal arbery still got the death penalty though,” Urhahn wrote. The station said Urhahn later deleted his comments, but screenshots of his disparaging remark were taken and shared.

A jury convicted Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan on Nov. 24 of murdering 25-year-old Arbery. Arbery was jogging in a Brunswick, Ga. neighborhood when the trio cornered him with their pickup trucks. Travis McMichael gunned him down. They were sentenced on Jan.7.

RELATED: Jury Convicts Three Georgia Defendants In Shooting Death Of Ahmaud Arbery

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery's Killers Sentenced To Life In Prison

Houston County Sheriff's Office suspended Urhahn after coming under an avalanche of outrage over the deputy’s comments.

"That deputy represents that entire department, and for him to say something like that I'm just... it got under my skin," WGXA quoted a reaction from Eli Porter, of the Poor And Minority Justice Association.

The department conducted an internal investigation that ended on Jan. 10. A Facebook post said the probe determined that Urhahn violated departmental policy, and he was suspended pending termination.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.