ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — State Representative Park Cannon (D-District 58) described the moment officers arrested her at the State Capitol on March 25, 2021. State police charged Cannon with two felonies after she knocked on Governor Brian Kemp’s door during a bill signing.
“At that moment, I had no clue what was happening. My experience was painful both physically and mentally,” said Cannon, reflecting on several questions that flooded her mind at the time. “Why are they doing this? Where are they going to take me?”READ MORE: Georgia Protesters, Attorney Gerald Griggs React To Rep. Park Cannon's Arrest
Two of Cannon’s attorneys, Gerald Griggs and David Dreyer, joined her at a press conference to draw attention to the incident and what led to it: Governor Kemp signing HB 202 into law behind closed doors. Republicans say it improves Georgia’s elections process. Democrats call the changes a form of voter suppression. If convicted, Cannon could face eight years in prison. “I stand before you to thank you for standing with me,” Cannon said. Both the arrest and the passage of HB 202 have sparked outrage and protests. “The Governor’s signing into law the most comprehensive voter suppression bill in the country is a far more serious crime,” she said, comparing it to her arrest.
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.”
Cannon faces two felony charges: felony obstruction and preventing or disrupting general assembly session, according to an arrest affidavit viewed by CNN.
Cannon’s attorney, Gerald Griggs, told CNN that Cannon’s arrest was unlawful under the Georgia State Constitution. He said they “plan to litigate to the fullest extent of the law,” but hopes the district attorney will review the evidence and dismiss the case.
Cannon faces two felony charges: felony obstruction and preventing or disrupting general assembly session, according to an arrest affidavit viewed by CNN. The affidavit states that Cannon was charged with disrupting General Assembly session because she “knowingly and intentionally did by knocking the governor’s door during session of singing [sic] a bill.”
The arrest affidavit for the felony obstruction charge says Cannon “did knowingly and willfully hinder Officer E. Dorval and Officer G. Sanchez of the Capitol PD, a law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge or the officer’s official duties by Use of Threats of Violence, violence to the person of said officer by stomping on LT Langford foot three times during the apprehension and as she was being escorted out of the property. The accused continued on kicking LT Langford with her heels.”
Asked about the claims in the affidavit, Griggs told CNN that “the facts and the evidence, as we know them, are inconsistent with what the allegations are in that report.”
Cannon also appeared in the CNN interview with her arm in a sling and explained that the injury was sustained during her arrest but that she did not yet have a full diagnosis.
“We are also in the process of getting her medical treatment, and the doctor will determine the extent of her injuries,” Griggs said. “But what we can say is that the facts and the evidence, from witnesses and video will show she did nothing felonious in this incident.”
Griggs said they’re asking the Fulton County District Attorney to dismiss the case. “It’s important that we recognize the significance of this moment and the courageousness of Park Cannon for standing for voting rights and to make sure the voices millions of Georgians can be heard,” said Griggs. “We are serious about defending this to the fullest extent of the law and making sure that Park’s name is cleared.” “Representative Cannon will be vindicated, but we are going to do a thorough investigation,” Dreyer said.
Cannon’s supporters are also hoping Congress will pass federal bills HR 1 and 4, which legislators say can override HB 202.
©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to the story.