Protest leads to clash between police and Georgia lawmaker
'I will continue this fight against voter suppression because all Georgians deserve the freedom to choose how and when to cast their ballot,' said Park Cannon
A protest at the Georgia state Capitol on Friday over voting bills led to a confrontation between Democratic Rep. Park Cannon and a Georgia State Patrol officer who grabbed her to move her away.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Cannon, along with fellow Democrats, initiated a sit-in on the stairs of the state Capitol until they received an apology, which the officer didn’t offer. The sit-in ended after an hour and a half.
The protest was an effort to stop bills approved by Georgia Republicans on Tuesday which would require identification in order to vote absentee, restrict the use of drop boxes, limit early voting and set earlier deadlines in order to request absentee ballots, according to the outlet.
The bill comes after speculation of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. 1.3 million votes from Georgia were absentee ballots which resulted in the state of Georgia voting in favor of President Joe Biden. Election officials assured the public that there was no evidence of voter fraud.
In a video shared by reporter Claire Simms of Fox 5 Atlanta, the officer was seen grabbing Cannon by the arm after she stood in front of an officer’s bullhorn while protestors yelled, “Don’t touch her.”
“Disburse immediately or you will be arrested,” the officer said to the crowd.
“There’s no disruption!” Cannon fired back.
“The goal of me speaking today is so that Black people, people across the state of Georgia, poor people, mothers and seniors can vote,” Cannon said to the outlet while on the steps of the state Capitol.
“The same police officers are still here today and touching Black women. It is not OK, and they need to apologize publicly. This is the people’s house, and we’ve got to protect the right to vote,” Cannon said.
On Friday, Cannon issued a statement thanking supporters, tweeting, “Thank you all for your well wishes and encouragement. I am going to take a little time to rest but know that I will continue this fight against voter suppression because all Georgians deserve the freedom to choose how and when to cast their ballot.”
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