ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Protests continued today after Governor Brian Kemp signed SB 202 into law. Protestors call it a form of voter suppression. Opponents of the bill said there was yet another reason to protest, after Georgia State police arrested Representative Park Cannon yesterday outside Kemp’s office.
An organizer recapped how they protested started their Thursday protest at the Governor’s mansion, went to Liberty Plaza across from the State Capitol, then protested outside the Delta Airlines headquarters. “We were abruptly interrupted with an arrest and assault,” said Shenita Binns with Absolute Justice Now, referring to Cannon’s arrest. Many compare it to Congresswoman Nikema Williams’ arrest in 2018 before her charges were dropped.READ MORE: Brookhaven's Call To Action: Officials Seeking Public Input On City Centre Master Plan
Video of the incident shows Cannon knocking on Kemp’s door at the Capitol, as he was signing the legislation and announcing it through a livestream. She told state police the public should be allowed to watch the signing. An officer asked her to step back, and when she knocked again, officers handcuffed and arrested her. Arrest warrants show officers charged her with two felonies: willful obstruction of law enforcement officers and disrupting General Assembly sessions.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
“I was concerned. I started thinking to myself, ‘Is this 1955 or is it 2021?’” said her attorney, Gerald Griggs. “My phone started ringing, people sent me the video and I saw Representative Cannon knocking on the door trying to get access to watch the bill signing. Then, I saw her dragged away. We’ve been working ever since, and we’ve gotten her out of jail, and now we’re investigating the case.” State police did not immediately respond to CW69’s request for comment.
Griggs and others also question why Kemp signed the bill behind closed doors. “Most bill signings that are signed into law are held publicly, so I have grave concerns about that as well,” Griggs said. The Governor’s office declined to comment on the arrest and why the bill wasn’t signed in public. Kemp has defended what he says are efforts to streamline the voting process. “The facts are, this new law will expand voting access in the Peach State.” Opponents of SB 202 have said otherwise. “This is an attack on our civil rights. We’re seeing a rollback of civil rights. We’re seeing a rollback of freedoms,” said Griggs. “This state is the birthplace of civil rights. It will not be the grave of social justice.”MORE NEWS: Child Tax Credit: October Payments Hitting Parents' Bank Accounts
Griggs said he’s focusing on getting Cannon exonerated for now. The next steps could include lawsuits.