The Democratic Georgia state lawmaker who was arrested while knocking on the door of Gov. Brian Kemp as he signed the controversial Republican-sponsored election bill into law will not face charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday (April 7).
Park Cannon was one of several people who opposed the new law, which has been called “Jim Crow 2.0,” by critics, who believe it makes voting more difficult in the state. She was taken into custody March 25 by state troopers and released later that evening.
“While some of Rep. 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,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, adding that she considers the case closed.
Cannon, who represents a district of Georgia covering parts of DeKalb and Fulton counties, has maintained that she did nothing to warrant the felony charges that she had faced.
“Facts and evidence showed to the world that Rep. Cannon committed no crime and should not have ever been arrested,” Gerald Griggs, a spokesman for the lawmaker told the AJC. “We thank the district attorney for her thorough review of the evidence and are weighing our next legal actions.”
Cannon was knocking on Kemp’s office door while he was on live television approving Senate Bill 202. It was passed by Republican legislators and has been criticized as an attempt to heavily limit voting rights and stifle voter freedoms.
The legislation requires identification for absentee ballots, places limits on drop boxes, augments early voting hours, and disqualifies provisional ballots mistakenly cast in the wrong precinct and even makes it illegal to hand out bottled water to people waiting in line to vote.
The arrest is just part of the political upheaval in Georgia over the law, which has activists calling for boycotts of Georgia events, and has even prompted Major League Baseball to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver.
Large corporations based in Atlanta including Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola Co. have also joined in the criticism of the new law.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, since the presidential election last year, more than 250 bills have been introduced in 43 state legislatures, which complicate the voting process for countless Americans., particularly those in battleground states like Florida, Georgia, and Arizona.