A Georgia lawmaker was charged with a felony while protesting Gov. Brian Kemp’s signing of a new voter reform bill

georgia rep park cannon atlanta arrested
State Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, is placed into the back of a Georgia State Capitol patrol car after being arrested by Georgia State Troopers at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021.

  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a sweeping election reform bill into law Thursday.
  • As he announced the bill, Democratic Rep. Park Cannon was filmed knocking on Kemp’s door.
  • Cannon was arrested and charged with obstruction as a result of the incident.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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 police told her 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.

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 of Georgia visited Cannon while she was being held in jail, his office told CNN.

Cannon’s office didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Just after midnight, she posted on Twitter: “Hey everyone, thank you for your support. I’ve been released from jail. I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true.”

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.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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