As Kemp Signed Bill She Knocked on His Door, Got Arrested

Rep. Park Cannon was protesting election legislation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2021 9:03 AM CDT
Georgia Lawmaker Arrested Protesting Election Bill
State Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, is placed into the back of a patrol car after being arrested by state troopers at Georgia's Capitol in Atlanta on Thursday.   (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

A Black Democratic state lawmaker was arrested in Atlanta as she tried to witness Georgia's governor sign into law new voting restrictions in the state. Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rep. Park Cannon was at the state Capitol on Thursday, right outside the office where Gov. Brian Kemp was putting his signature to legislation. The now-law limits the number of ballot drop boxes, adds voter ID requirements, shortens the early-voting period, and bans offering food or water to people waiting in line to vote. It also permits the State Election Board to take over county elections. Critics are calling it "Jim Crow 2.0." NBC News notes that Cannon wasn't pleased that Kemp was signing the bill behind closed doors and demanded transparency, knocking on his office door as he was livestreaming the event. An AJC video shows two state troopers grab Cannon's arms midknock and cuff her.

She was placed in a police car and taken to Fulton County Jail. Cannon, who at age 24 became Georgia's youngest lawmaker in 2016, was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and disrupting General Assembly sessions, per the Georgia State Patrol. She was released on bond later that night. Court documents say she stomped on an officer's foot three times while she was being detained. NAACP lawyer Gerald Griggs says Cannon was bruised during the incident, per the Hill. The state's Constitution notes legislators are "free from arrest during sessions of the General Assembly ... except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace." Police say Kemp's door was marked with a "Governor's Staff Only" sign, and that Cannon was told she'd be arrested if she didn't stop knocking. After her release, Cannon tweeted: "I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I'd love to say I'm the last, but we know that isn't true." (More Georgia stories.)

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