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Park Cannon Arrested

Georgia Lawmaker Park Cannon is arrested outside of Brian Kemp's office on March 25 (Photo: Source: Stevens/Facebook)

Park Cannon, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, was arrested yesterday in the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta simply for knocking on the governor’s door.

Videos of the incident show Rep. Cannon, a Black queer woman who was the youngest Georgia representative in history when she took office at the age of 24 in 2016, being handcuffed by Georgia State Patrol officers after she knocked on the door of Governor Brian Kemp’s office while he was inside signing a bill restricting voter rights.

Onlookers repeatedly asked why the three officers were arresting the representative and did not receive any response. One officer on each arm dragged Cannon out of the building and into a police vehicle as she asked what she was being arrested for while also asking them to stop pulling on the handcuffs because it was painful. They remained silent and brought her to Fulton County Jail.

A spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol said Thursday evening that Cannon “was advised that she was disturbing what was going on inside and if she did not stop, she would be placed under arrest. Rep. Cannon stepped back for a moment and then stepped back up to the door and started knocking on the door again.”

@b.dont.do.prettyDemocratic Rep.Park Cannon Arrested for knocking on Brian Kemp’s Door during imposing voting restrictions! #parkcannon #RepCannon♬ original sound – B☆Nelson

Cannon was released after being charged with a felony of obstruction of law enforcement and a misdemeanor of preventing or disrupting General Assembly. Cannon’s attorney Gerald Griggs posted her $6,000 bond.

Griggs tweeted at 11:48 p.m. Thursday that “we plan to vigorously defend against these charges.” At 6:16 a.m. Friday he continued, “Protecting Georgia Voters from Voter Suppression and demanding transparency in the process is not and should not be punishable by felony charges. DISMISS THE CHARGES NOW. Shame on Georgia.”

Representative Cannon tweeted a thread at 12:28 a.m. on Friday, saying “The closed-door signing of #SB202 and the senseless murder of #AAPI Georgians are both products of a white supremacist system. Different tactics, same goal: fear and control. We will not live in fear and we will not be controlled. 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.”

Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff as well as Stacey Abrams and congresspeople from other states, such as Ilhan Omar, all expressed their outrage in her defense. 

Representative Cannon posted further at 11:15 a.m. Friday to say:

“I will not stand by while our voting rights are threatened across this state, the state I swore an oath to represent with integrity, honesty, and respect for the millions of people who live and work in this community. Thank you for all the love and support I’ve received, as if has [sic] come from all parts of Georgia, the US, and the world. I will continue to fight for the rights of Georgians from far and wide, but today I ask for privacy for myself and my family as I heal from this experience, so that I may continue this fight again.”

Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager is the author of the award-winning Queer, There, and Everywhere: 27 People Who Changed the World, Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders, and A Child's Introduction to Pride: The Inspirational History and Culture of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Learn more about her speaking, writing, and more at www.sarahprager.com.