Park Cannon – Georgia State Legislator Arrested In Protest Of Voting Restriction Bill In Front Of Governor’s Office

After knocking on the office door during Kemp’s signing of SB 202, an electoral reform bill, Cannon is seen being carried by several officers with her hands handcuffed behind her back.

In a statement Thursday night, the Georgia State Patrol said at 6:33 p.m. M., Cannon “was knocking on the Governor’s Office door” and, when told to stop, he went to the Governor’s Ceremonial Office door marked with a “Governor Staff Only” sign and knock on that door. .

After being told twice to stop knocking on the door in light of the press conference taking place inside, and twice warned that she would be arrested if she did not stop, “Rep. Cannon refused to let knocking on the door. Rep. Cannon was placed under arrest and escorted out of the Capitol, “according to the statement. They took her to the Fulton County Jail and then released her Thursday night.

US Senator Raphael Warnock from Georgia, who criticized the bill signed Thursday to restrict voter access, visited Cannon in jail. His office said in a statement that Cannon is a parishioner at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Warnock has served as senior pastor.

Cannon faces two felony charges: felony obstruction and preventing or disrupting the general assembly session, according to an arrest affidavit seen by CNN. The affidavit states that Cannon was charged with disrupting the General Assembly session because “he did so knowingly and intentionally by knocking on the governor’s door during the singing session. [sic] an invoice.”

The arrest affidavit on the felony obstruction charge stated that she “knowingly and deliberately obstructed Officer E. Dorval and Officer G. Sanchez of the Capitol Police Department, a law enforcement officer in legal office or in the officer’s official duties through the use of threats of violence, violence against said officer’s person by trampling LT Langford’s foot three times during the apprehension and while escorting her off the property. The defendant continued to kick LT Langford with the heels “.

Attorney Gerald Griggs told CNN that he represents Cannon. Griggs said he was in the Fulton County Jail working to free Cannon after she was booked on felony obstruction charges.

“We are currently getting her out of jail. We are also gathering information on the case. There are several videos and we are in contact with the district attorney,” Griggs told CNN.

In the video, others on Capitol Hill can be heard with Cannon asking officers, “Why are you arresting her?”

CNN has reached out to Kemp’s office for comment.

Cannon, who is black, was Georgia’s youngest lawmaker at age 24 and one of three openly gay lawmakers when she was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2016. She has opposed the so-called “religious freedom bill. “from the state, arguing that it would lead to discrimination against gay and transgender people, as well as Georgia’s so-called heartbeat bill, which sought to ban abortions on detection of a fetal heartbeat, which occurs at the six weeks of pregnancy.

Cannon’s arrest comes after Kemp signed into law the broad election bill on Thursday, making Georgia the first presidential battleground state to impose new voting restrictions following President Joe Biden’s victory there. The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local election boards, limits the use of ballot boxes, and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to feed them food. and water.

Republicans issued the measure, dubbed the Election Integrity Act of 2021, as necessary to boost confidence in the elections after the 2020 elections saw former President Donald Trump make repeated claims of unsubstantiated fraud. Kemp predicted Thursday that critics of the new law “will threaten, boycott, sue, demonize and join their friends in the national media in calling me everything in the book.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Kelly Mena, Fredreka Schouten, and Kendall Trammell contributed to this report.


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