Georgia troopers thought House Rep. Park Cannon, a Black female representative of the 58th district in the state, was a threat similar to the Capitol insurgents.
Lieutenant. G.D. Langford said in a 13-page arrest report that he was worried that Cannon’s resistance would have inspired protesters to storm Gov. Brian Kemp’s private office.
Kemp refused to open his door to the representative while the governor was addressing the issue on a livestream, and when troopers asked her to stop knocking, she persisted.
“I didn’t want the protestors to attempt to gain entry into a secure part of the Capitol,” Langford wrote. “I believed Cannon’s actions of obstructing law enforcement in front of agitated protestors to constitute a breach of the peace.”
However, Cannon was alone in the Georgia Capitol’s Rotunda, and her request to speak with Kemp was described as “gentle” by AJC.
According to his police report, Langford said that while he and other officers were escorting Cannon, who was dragging her feet, to a nearby elevator, she stomped on his right foot several times with her high heels, giving him bruises.
“I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true,” Cannon said via Twitter, Fox News reported. “But someday soon that last person will step out of jail for the last time and breathe a first breath knowing that no one will be jailed again for fighting for the right to vote.”
Cannon was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or other meetings.
The Georgia Democratic Caucus is calling for her charges to be dropped. On Monday, she was released from jail and was joined by Martin Luther King III and a group of her supporters.
Bill 531 requires voters to have convincing identification for absentee ballots. The bill also proposes that giving away free food or drinks to voters in waiting lines should be a misdemeanor charge.
“No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector,” the bill reportedly states.
However, the bill does not mention whether or not it is a misdemeanor to sell food and drinks to voter waiting lines.