ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10/CNN) — Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon will not be charged with two felonies stemming from her arrest while protesting the state’s new election law her lawyer confirmed to CNN on Wednesday.
Cannon’s lawyer, Gerald Griggs, told CNN that they had learned about the decision through a phone call earlier Wednesday and that receiving the news was “emotional.”READ MORE: Gov. Kemp Announces Medical Technology Company Intuitive Expanding In Gwinnett County, Adding Approximately 1,200 Jobs
“Facts and evidence showed to the world that Rep. Cannon committed no crime and should not have ever been arrested,” Griggs wrote on Twitter. “We thank the district attorney for her thorough review of the evidence and are weighing our next legal actions,” he added.
“Facts and evidence showed to the world that @Cannonfor58 committed no crime and should not have ever been arrested. We thank the district attorney for her thorough review of the evidence and are weighing our next legal actions.” #gapol #KeepKnocking #ProtectBlackwomen pic.twitter.com/s6r2Iq9vNw
— Gerald A. Griggs (@AttorneyGriggs) April 7, 2021
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she considers the case closed after reviewing the evidence and that she will not be presenting the case to a grand jury.
Willis issued this statement:
The office of the Fulton County District Attorney’s lawful duty is to investigate alleged felonies occurring in Fulton County and to prosecute when appropriate. This office takes seriously its duty to prosecute crimes of violence, particularly when committed against law enforcement officers.
After reviewing all of the evidence, I have decided to close this matter. 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.
On March 25, Cannon was arrested and removed from the Georgia Capitol after she repeatedly knocked on the door to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office during his signing of the controversial elections bill. The Democratic lawmaker was taken to Fulton County Jail and released later that night.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
She was facing charges of felony obstruction and disrupting General Assembly session, according to an arrest affidavit viewed by CNN.
The arrest affidavit also alleged that Cannon was “stomping” on a Georgia State Patrol officer’s foot “three times during the apprehension and as she was being escorted out of the property” and continued kicking the officer with her heels.
“The facts and the evidence, as we know them, are inconsistent with what the allegations are in that report,” Griggs told CNN’s Don Lemon in an interview last week.
Griggs also told CNN that Cannon’s arrest was unlawful under the Georgia State Constitution and that they hoped the district attorney would dismiss the case after reviewing the video and evidence.
Cannon told Lemon that she felt “it was important to be there” to try to witness the bill’s signing for transparency reasons.
She had faced up to eight years in prison, according to Griggs.
The new Georgia election law imposes new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, reduces the number of ballot drop boxes in large counties and shortens the length of runoff elections, among other provisions.
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.”
While it has been fiercely defended by Georgia Republicans, the law has prompted civil rights lawsuits and sparked backlash from big businesses and CEOs and condemnation from Democratic politicians, activists, athletes and entertainers. Last Friday, Major League Baseball announced it would move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the law, subsequently costing the state revenue and earning criticism from Kemp and other Republicans.
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