A Georgia district attorney will not press charges against a state legislator arrested for knocking on the governor’s door during the signing ceremony for a controversial voting bill.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis considers the issue of Rep. Park Cannon’s arrest on March 25 closed after conducting several interviews with people involved in the incident.
“After reviewing all the evidence, I decided to close this issue. He will not be presented to a grand jury for prosecution consideration and is now closed, ”she said on Wednesday. “While some of Representative Cannon’s colleagues and the officers involved may have found his behavior irritating, such a sentiment does not warrant a presentation to a grand jury of the allegations on the arrest warrants or any other criminal charges.”
After not repeatedly following officers’ orders to stop knocking on the governor’s office door within the state capitol last month, Cannon was arrested and taken away in handcuffs. She was accused of obstructing law enforcement and preventing or interrupting the General Assembly and was later released on $ 6,000 bail.
“Facts and evidence show that Park Cannon did not commit any crime and should never have been arrested. We are evaluating our next legal options, “said Gerald Griggs, Cannon’s lawyer, in social media after Willis’s announcement.
At the time of arrest, Mark Riley, director of information for the Georgia Department of Public Security, said in a statement to Washington Examiner that Cannon “was instructed that there was no one at the reception and that he would stop knocking on the door”.
“Rep. Cannon moved and went to the door of the Governor’s Ceremonial Office. This door is marked with pillars and a ‘Governor Staff Only’ sign. Rep. Cannon entered the props and started knocking on the door. Congressman Cannon was instructed to stop knocking and that Governor Kemp was giving a press conference inside, ”said Riley.
“Rep. Cannon continued to knock on the door and was instructed again to stop knocking on the door, “he added.” She was told that she was disturbing what was going on inside and, if she didn’t stop, she would be arrested. Rep. Cannon took a step back for a moment and then went back to the door and started knocking on the door again. She was again warned if she didn’t stop, she would be arrested for obstructing and disturbing the press conference. Rep. Cannon refused to stop knocking on the door. “
News of Cannon’s arrest spread quickly, and the White House said yes “deeply concerned. “
Cannon tried to interrupt the signing of an electoral reform project that became one of the main national headlines in the following weeks. The bill was announced by Republicans, who supported the legislation, as a way of ensuring voter integrity, while Democrats say the bill aims to deprive voters of minorities.
The bill makes it mandatory for voters looking for an absentee ballot to provide a form of photo identification, whereas previously, election officials would verify voters by means of signature verification. It will also shorten the time between general and second round elections and provide state officials with the authority to take over local electoral boards in certain circumstances. The bill will also make it a crime for anyone, except election workers, to approach voters in line to give them anything.
The law also codified the use of drop boxes, which were used in 2020 with the pretext of preventing coronavirus, but will be placed in places for early voting and can only be accessed during business hours in the electoral zone.
Across the country, Republicans are looking to implement changes similar to what was approved in Georgia. Republican legislatures generally support bills that strengthen voter identification laws and limit voting by mail, while Democrats often require automatic voter registration and extend early voting and no voting.
Original Author: Mike Brest