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Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon was arrested on Thursday and charged with felony obstruction as Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp signed a controversial new voting reform bill into law.
Cannon was detained after knocking on Kemp’s door.
Kemp, a Republican, was announcing the signing of the bill over a live stream when he was interrupted by Cannon, a Democrat. Cannon’s arrest was also captured during a live stream, as the lawmaker was joined by others who came to the state Capitol in Atlanta to protest the bill.
According to a statement provided to Insider from Georgia State Patrol, Cannon continued to knock on the door after being instructed to stop.
“She was advised that she was disturbing what was going on inside and if she did not stop, she would be placed under arrest,” the statement said. After knocking more, police said she was again told she would be arrested for obstruction and removed from the building.
“Why are you arresting her?” This Facebook Live video from @TWareStevens shows the moment authorities detained state Rep. Park Cannon as @GovKemp was behind those doors signing elections restrictions into law. #gapol pic.twitter.com/U1xMJ6tZrY
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) March 25, 2021
Videos posted on Twitter showed the moment of the arrest. Cannon can be seen talking with a police officer who is standing between her and the door. She takes a step back from the door, before again stepping up to knock and is immediately arrested by two officers.
Others present immediately begin protesting the arrest, with one asking, “Under arrest for what? For trying to see something that our governor is doing?”
“Our governor is signing a bill that affects all Georgians, and you’re going to arrest an elected representative?” the person said.
Police said Cannon was moved to the Fulton County Jail and charged with obstruction of law enforcement, a felony, and preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or meetings of members, a misdemeanor.
US Sen. Raphael Warnock visited Cannon while she was being held in jail, his office told CNN.
Cannon’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The controversial election reform bill signed by Kemp expands early voting in most counties and mandates identification for mail-in voting, among many other changes.
It also bans volunteers from delivering supplies, including food and water, to voters waiting in long lines and prohibits most uses of mobile voting buses.
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