In the midst of a hotly contested race for U.S. Senate, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA-09) called on Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr to appoint a special prosecutor in the wake of murder charges by Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard – who is also facing a tough run-off election in August – in the death of Rayshard Brooks.
“Our founders intended for our justice system to be blind – blind to race, blind to socioeconomic status, and blind to politics,” Rep. Collins said in a statement. “While we seek justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many lives lost, we cannot turn our backs on the majority of law enforcement officers who are simply doing their jobs and putting their lives on the line for us each and every day.”
Charging an Atlanta police officer with felony murder before the completion of the GBI’s investigation was a political decision, not a legal one. I’m calling on Attorney General Chris Carr to appoint an independent district attorney in the case of Rayshard Brooks to ensure Georgians have complete confidence that this case is devoid of any and all political influence. If a special prosecutor was warranted in the Ahmaud Arbery case, then it certainly warrants the appointment of one here.
Georgia Attorney General Carr responded later the same day with a statement of his own, asserting state law prohibits his from appointing a special prosecutor.
“In Georgia, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-18-5, the Office of the Attorney General can appoint another prosecutor if a district attorney disqualifies himself/herself or a court disqualifies him/her,” the Georgia State Attorney General’s Office statement said.
Collins is running to replace Senator John Isakson (R-GA), who resigned in August 2019 due to declining health. In accordance with Georgia law, Governor Brian Kemp tapped Kelly Loeffler to serve in the interim, with a special election in 2020 to fill the remaining two years of Isakson’s term through 2022.