ATLANTA - A protest under the Gold Dome Tuesday led to the arrest of a Georgia state senator.
Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams issued the following release regarding her arrest Tuesday afternoon during a protest at the State Capitol:
“I showed up at the Capitol today for a special session to take care of the citizens of Georgia. I saw I had constituents protesting for their voices to be heard. There are countless Georgians who cast their ballots and still don’t feel like their voices are heard. I joined them down on the floor, and I was singled out as a black female senator standing in the rotunda with constituents.
“I’m incredibly proud and will continue to stand with the citizens of Georgia to demand that their votes be counted.”
Video provided to FOX 5 News by CAIR Georgia shows Capitol Police and Georgia State Troopers trying to break up the crowd in the rotunda of the Georgia Capitol. Some of the people in the crowd were holding signs which read “count every vote.”
The Georgia House Democratic Caucus stated Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams was among 15 people arrested during “a peaceful rally to count every vote in the recent election” at the State Capitol.
The caucus stated Sen. Williams was taken into custody around 2 p.m. and booked into the Fulton County Jail.
The caucus released the following statement:
"It is beyond troubling that an elected member of the General Assembly has been arrested for peacefully standing in support of citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. Even more troubling that it is in conjunction with citizen speech about counting every vote."
The Georgia State Patrol told FOX 5 News 15 protesters were taken into custody by the Capitol Police for “unlawful to disrupt the orderly conduct of official business.”
"Senator Williams was at the Capitol serving in her official capacity as a state senator when she was arrested," Democratic Leader Bob Trammell was quoted as saying in a press release sent to FOX 5 News. "It is beyond troubling that an elected member of the General Assembly has been arrested for peacefully standing in support of citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. Even more troubling that it is in conjunction with citizen speech about counting every vote."
Tamika Middleton, local organizer for the National Domestic Workers Alliance released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“Senator Nikema Williams was arrested in the Georgia State Capitol for literally doing her job as an elected official. We are disgusted by the aggressive intimidation tactics by police -- the latest effort at voter suppression to silence the voices of Black people. This is 2018 and we will not allow Jim Crow South to rear its ugly head again in Georgia. We demand the immediate release of Senator Williams and all of the peaceful protestors who were arrested.”
Jail records indicate Williams and the others who were arrested were all released from custody as of late Tuesday evening.
Stacey Abram’s campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo sent FOX 5 News the following statement:
"Shamefully, State Senator Nikema Williams was arrested while doing the job she swore an oath to do, standing in solidarity with her constituents to support the core values of our democracy and demand that every Georgia vote be counted. The charges against Senator Williams should be dropped immediately."