Yesterday, a district attorney in Atlanta announced that charges against Democratic Georgia state representative Park Cannon will be dropped. Rep. Cannon, a Black woman, was arrested on March 25th when she knocked on the door to Governor Brian Kemp’s office after he signed a new anti-voter bill into law and was speaking on live television.
As we previously reported, “In a seven-minute Facebook Live video filmed by activist Tamara Stevens, Cannon is seen knocking on the door to the room where the Governor was holding a news conference the bill, and then arrested by multiple officers who refused to state clearly why they were arresting her. A Georgia Department of Public Safety spokesperson reported that Cannon was arrested for “obstructing law enforcement and preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or other meetings of members.”
“After reviewing all of the evidence, I have decided to close this matter,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said in a statement. “It will not be presented to a grand jury for consideration of indictment, and it is now closed.”
“While some of Representative Cannon’s colleagues and the police officers involved may have found her behavior annoying, such sentiment does not justify a presentment to a grand jury of the allegations in the arrest warrants or any other felony charges,” she said.
Willis said she made her decision after an investigation in which statements were collected from multiple witnesses and the Capitol police.
“We are appreciative of the decision of the district attorney after we provided witnesses to her and we plan to speak publicly very soon about our next steps,” said Cannon’s attorney Gerald Griggs.
“The Governor’s signing of this legislation behind closed doors illustrated the public’s disappointment with this bill or any other voter suppression measure. In our fight for all Georgians, we will continue to fight for equal access to the ballot by engaging in local elections and supporting our community partners. As the matters pertaining to Representative Cannon subside, we will continue to show her and our other members’ support as they work to end voter suppression,” the Georgia Democratic Caucus said in a statement.
The new anti-voter bill imposes restrictive measures that disproportionately impact Black, young, and disabled voters in the state of Georgia.
“Georgia’s election rules adds a new photo ID requirement to vote absentee by mail, gives the State Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials, prohibits people from giving water and snacks to people waiting in line, and makes some changes to early voting, among other things,” per the Associated Press.
Voting rights groups have already vowed to take legal action and are suing to prevent the law from being enacted.