Warnock visits Georgia state Rep. Cannon at jail after arrest: ‘She did not deserve this’

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) on Thursday condemned the arrest of Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon (D), telling reporters outside the Fulton County Jail that “she did not deserve this.” 

Cannon was detained Thursday after she repeatedly knocked on the door of Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) office while he signed a controversial new bill that would tighten voting rules in the state. The governor was holding a livestreamed signing ceremony for the legislation behind closed doors. 

“Today is a very sad day for the state of Georgia,” Warnock told reporters Thursday. The newly elected Georgia senator added that Cannon is a parishioner at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Warnock was senior pastor. 

“What we have witnessed today is a very desperate attempt to lock out and squeeze the people out of their own democracy,” he said.  

“The people are being locked down and locked out of their own democracy,” he continued, adding, “This effort to silence the voices of Georgians … will not stand.” 

Warnock said that Cannon, who was captured in video footage with law enforcement forcing her out of the state Capitol Thursday, “is understandably a bit shaken by what happened to her.” 

“She did not deserve this,” he added. 

Warnock also compared Cannon’s actions to those of the rioters who carried out the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.

The senator said he “saw a state representative knocking on a door of the governor and she was arrested,” while “we saw a violent, insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol and police officers died in that case.”

“I want to know what makes her actions so dangerous,” Warnock said. 

Cannon’s attorney, Gerald Griggs, who appeared alongside Warnock as they spoke to reporters Thursday evening, said they had secured Cannon’s release, adding that the lawmaker sustained bruises during the arrest. 

“We had an African American woman who was standing up for the voices of millions of Georgia voters,” Griggs said.

The lawyer, who is associated with the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP, added that he intended to get Cannon absolved of all charges. 

Others have come to Cannon’s defense since video of her arrest surfaced online, including Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff (D), who tweeted, “I stand with Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon,” adding that she was arrested “as she tried to observe the cowardly closed-door signing ceremony for the voter suppression law.”

Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., also condemned the arrest, calling it “despicable” and “reminiscent of everything that my father, John Lewis, CT Vivian, Amelia Boynton and so many others sacrificed their lives for.”

“I applaud her bravery and her courage, because we’re in those times now,” King said of Cannon. “Not in a violent way, but in a nonviolent way, we are going to have to be willing to be courageous and continue to let our voices be heard and strategize and mobilize, and sometimes, we’ve got to sacrifice where it hurts.”

Tags ballot drop boxes Bernice King Brian Kemp Capitol riot Fulton County Georgia John Lewis Jon Ossoff Raphael Warnock Senate Voter ID law voting bill

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