Georgia State Patrol issues statement over DA dropping charges against Rep. Cannon
ATLANTA - The Georgia State Patrol is responding to the Fulton County District Attorney’s decision to no pursue charges against State Representative Park Cannon.
On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she would not prosecute Cannon after the lawmaker was arrested on March 25 for knocking on the governor's ceremonial officer as Gov. Brian Kemp was signing the state's controversial new voting law.
State police arrested Cannon, a Democrat who represents Atlanta after she said she wanted to see Kemp sign the law that places new restrictions on voting by mail and gives lawmakers more power to oversee elections.
Cannon was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and disruption of the General Assembly. She was released from jail later that night.
A state police spokesman said Cannon knocked on the door to the public lobby of the governor’s office, and then shifted to knocking on a door to a private area.
"She was advised that she was disturbing what was going on inside and if she did not stop, she would be placed under arrest," Lt. W. Mark Riley wrote in a statement the night of the arrest.
Willis said that she decided to close the case after reviewing the evidence provided by in-person interviews with citizen witnesses and the "statements, video evidence, and multiple police reports" from the Capitol Police.
Fani said that while some may have found Cannon's actions annoying, she decided to close the matter citing a lack of proof that felonies cited were actually committed.
Reacting to the DA's decision, the Georgia State Patrol issued a statement on Friday that reads in part:
"While the Georgia Department of Public Safety is aware of the Fulton County District Attorney's prosecutorial discretion and decision not to pursue charges against Representative Park Cannon, the Department also supports the lawfulness of the arrest and the Trooper's judgment."
The statement goes on to say the department will not make any further comment in anticipation of a civil lawsuit.
At a news conference on Thursday, attorneys for Rep. Cannon said they are considering legal actions and all options are on the table.
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