Police Arrest Out Black Lawmaker For Knocking On Georgia Governor’s Door During Bill Signing

Out Georgia Rep. Park Cannon (D) was arrested on Thursday after she knocked on the governor’s door at the Georgia Capitol as he was signing legislation to roll back voting rights in the state and is now facing two charges, including one felony charge.

In a video posted to social media, a Georgia Capitol police officer speaks with the Democrat outside the door to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.

After knocking on the office door during Kemp’s signing of SB 202, which increases voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, allows state officials to take over local elections, limits the use of ballot drop boxes, and even makes it a crime to give water to people standing in line to vote, Cannon is seen being led away by several officers with her hands cuffed behind her back.

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

CNN reports: “After being told twice to stop knocking on the door in light of the press conference occurring inside, and twice warned that she would be arrested if she did not stop, ‘Rep. Cannon refused to stop knocking on the door. Rep. Cannon was placed under arrest and escorted out of the Capitol,’ according to the statement. She was taken to Fulton County Jail and later released late Thursday night.”

Georgia US Sen. Raphael Warnock, who has decried the bill signed Thursday for restricting voter access, visited Cannon at the 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 general assembly session, according to an arrest affidavit.

The affidavit states that Cannon was charged with disrupting the General Assembly session because she “knowingly and intentionally did by knocking the governor’s door during session of singing [sic] a bill.”

The arrest affidavit for the felony obstruction charge said she “did knowingly and willfully hinder Officer E. Dorval and Officer G. Sanchez of the Capitol PD, a law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge or the officer’s official duties by Use of Threats of Violence, violence to the person of said officer by stomping on LT Langford foot three times during the apprehension and as she was being escorted out of the property. The accused continued on kicking LT Langford with her heels.”

Cannon was released from jail hours after her arrest.

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 in 2016. She has opposed the state’s so-called “religious freedom bill,” on the grounds that it would lead to discrimination against gay and transgender people.

On Twitter, Cannon said that she’s not going to give up on voting rights in Georgia.

“We will not live in fear and we will not be controlled,” she wrote. “We have a right to our future and a right to our freedom. We will come together and continue fighting white supremacy in all its forms.”

In her tweet, she shared a picture that has gone viral as well: Gov. Kemp, who is white, surrounded by white men signing the bill to restrict voting rights in Georgia.