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Ga. lawmaker Cannon won't face prosecution for knocking on gov's door during bill signing

The Fulton County district attorney said that while some might have viewed state Rep. Park Cannon's actions as "annoying," they weren't criminal.
Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, walks past a Georgia State Patrol officer as she returns to the capitol in Atlanta on March 29, 2021.
Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, walks past a Georgia State Patrol officer as she returns to the capitol in Atlanta on March 29, 2021.Ben Gray / AP file

ATLANTA — Fulton County's district attorney said Wednesday that she will not prosecute the Georgia legislator arrested for knocking on Gov. Brian Kemp's office door last month as he was signing the state's controversial voting bill into law.

"After reviewing all of the evidence, I have decided to close this matter," District Attorney Fani Willis said of the investigation into state Rep. Park Cannon.

"While some of Rep. Cannon’s colleagues and the police officers involved may have found her behavior annoying, such sentiment does not justify a presentment to a grand jury of the allegations in the arrest warrants or any other felony charges," Willis said in a statement.

Cannon was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and disrupting the General Assembly, both felonies, while trying to witness Kemp's signing the bill that President Joe Biden has decried as "Jim Crow 2.0."

Video of the incident showed Cannon, who as a lawmaker works at the statehouse, being handcuffed after she knocked on Kemp’s door while calling for the transparency of the bill signing. She was then forcibly removed from the state Capitol by two officers and surrounded by more while repeatedly identifying herself as a legislator.

The arresting officer, Lt. G.D. Langford of the Georgia State Patrol, said the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was “in the back of my mind” during the incident.

In a 13-page incident report obtained by NBC News last week, Langford said he repeatedly asked Cannon to stop knocking on Kemp’s office door during the bill signing, but she persisted. He said that he “noticed the other protestors began to get louder as she was refusing to follow commands,” and “felt that if I did not take action, the other protestors would have been emboldened to commit similar acts.”

Willis said her office's investigation into the incident included "full cooperation from multiple citizen witnesses who were willing to provide in-person interviews about what they witnessed" and evidence from the Capitol police, "who provided statements, video evidence and multiple police reports in an expeditious manner."

Cannon's attorney, Gerald Griggs, told NBC News, “Facts and evidence showed to the world that Rep. Park Cannon committed no crime and should have never been arrested." He suggested his client, who'd been freed on $6,000, was contemplating taking legal action herself.

"We thank the district attorney for her thorough review of the evidence and are weighing our next legal actions,” Griggs said.

Cannon told reporters last week she wasn't the one who did something criminal.

"I am facing eight years in prison on unfounded charges," she said. "I believe the governor signing into law the most comprehensive voter suppression bill in the country is a far more serious crime."