Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has announced that she will not prosecute Georgia State Representative Park Cannon following her controversial arrest on March 25. Cannon faced two felony charges for "preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or other meetings of members." She faced a maximum of eight years in prison if prosecuted and convicted.
The incident in question took place during the last week of March as Republican lawmakers in the state of Georgia moved to pass S.B. 202. The restrictive voting bill has severely limited the use of dropbox voting, made it more difficult to vote by mail and placed more control over local elections in the hands of Republican-controlled bodies. As the bill was set to be passed, Cannon hoped to speak with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and voice her concerns. In order to do so, she knocked on the door of his workspace. When she did so, police officers moved toward her and allegedly asked her to stop twice. When she continued to knock on his door, officers arrested her and removed from the area.
"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," a statement from the Fulton District Attorney reads.
"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."
Recordings of this arrest made their way around social media and created a national outrage over the restrictive voting bill. National political figures like Stacey Abrams, President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama have both called out state lawmakers for passing the bill. The passing of the bill also led Major League Baseball to move the 2021 MLB All-Star Game out of Georgia and into Colorado. This move will result in a loss of approximately $100 million for the state.
In the aftermath of the incident, Cannon and her attorney Gerald Griggs have raised their issues with the restrictive voting bill and her arrest.
"Facts and evidence showed to the world that Rep. Cannon committed no crime and should not have ever been arrested," Griggs stated.
"We thank the district attorney for her thorough review of the evidence and are weighing our next legal actions."
Cannon will return to the Georgia House of Representatives later this month as Democratic lawmakers continue to fight against S.B. 202.
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