State senator speaks out after arrest
ATLANTA - She was arrested along with more than a dozen protestors and a state senator vowed at a news conference less than 24 hours later to work to make sure it never happens to another member of the General Assembly.
Capitol Police arrested State Senator Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, during a "Count Every Vote" rally in the Capitol rotunda Tuesday afternoon. She was booked into the Fulton County Jail and charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer and disrupting the General Assembly.
"As a sitting member of the legislature, I did not leave the Capitol and so I was taken out in handcuffs and jailed," Williams said. "While I do regret that Capitol Police made the decision that I think was unlawful to arrest me, I don't regret standing with my constituents. I don't regret standing up for what I know was fair, just and right."
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Williams said she joined the protest in progress when she recognized some of the participants.
"I will never stand down from doing the right thing. My constituents sent me here to be their voice and if they ever need someone standing next to them to make sure that their voices are elevated, I'm going to be right there," she explained.
Sen. Williams said she planned to have discussions with both Governor Nathan Deal and the Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle about the incident.
Governor Deal said Wednesday afternoon that he had not yet heard from the senator.
"I expect law enforcement to do their job and to maintain order and not have a place of disruption here inside the State Capitol," said Governor Deal. "We have the entire Liberty Plaza that was dedicated to the purpose of people who want to do lawful demonstrations and that was available. It was raining, but that was still available."
Senate leadership said they plan to look into what happened.
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