Georgia democrat representative could see 8 years in prison for trying to interrupt Governor signing new voting law

ATLANTA, GA– According to authorities, a Georgia lawmaker who was arrested after she tried to interrupt Governor Brian Kemp’s (R) signing of a new controversial voting law, could end up facing eight years in prison.

On March 25th, Kemp signed Georgia Senate Bill 202 into law in a ceremony with press and supporters of the bill both in attendance.

On the day of the signing, Georgia representative Park Cannon (D) was arrested after she knocked on the door to the governor’s office while he was delivering his remarks post-signing.

According to, Georgia State Patrol, Cannon was told by officers to stop knocking on the door because of the press conference going on inside and that if she wouldn’t, she would be placed under arrest for obstruction.

Video shows another attempt by Cannon to knock on the door and the officers telling her she was under arrest.

She is then seen taken out of the Capitol and later brought to the Union City Jail where she was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or other meetings.

According to a representative for Cannon, she was granted a signature bond and was later released from jail. Sen. Raphael Warnock joined a crowd of supporters at her release and defended her as “an outstanding public servant.”

Attorney Gerald Griggs, who also spoke the jail as Cannon was release, is now representing her and is vowing to “vigorously defend against” the charges. Cannon told reporters:

“I am not afraid to admit that I was afraid of what might happen.”

Both charges are felonies and if convicted, carry a sentence of up to eight years in prison. Her team has announced the establishment of a crowdfunding campaign to support her legal defense. She said:

“As difficult as it is to acknowledge that I am facing eight years on unfounded charges, I believe the governor’s signing into law the most comprehensive voter suppression bill in the country is a far more serious crime.”

She added that being arrested at the governor’s door was “both physically and emotionally” painful. She said:

“The issue at hand: voter suppression in Georgia is alive today, on the first day of April. He has erased decades of sacrifices, incalculable hours of work, marches, prayers, tears even, and as he minimized the deaths of thousands who had paid the ultimate price for the right to vote.”

This is not the first time Cannon has been involved in an exchange at the Capitol. Allegedly a month or so back she was confronted by a Georgia State Patrol trooper during a spontaneous protest against the election measures.

She put her head in front of the bullhorn that a state trooper was using to have the crowd disperse and caused the amplification to feed back into a screech. Another trooper grabbed her by her elbow, encouraging her to move away.

Cannon protested the physical contact and then confronted the trooper regarding the statute he had cited, pointing out that the House was not in session at that moment. She said:

“Session is adjourned, so there is no disrupting of the session. Session is over! That is why all the members are out!”

Cannon said that she wanted a public apology from the trooper who grabbed her by her elbow and she declined to offer a private conversation of the matter. There were no arrests from that incident. 

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What could go wrong? Legislator proposes bill that would give lawmakers arrest powers

March 18th, 2021

The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

SPRINGFIELD, IL- Power corrupts—absolute power corrupts, absolutely. State officials, after a year of imposing their will on the American people through COVID-19 mandates are surely starting to feel their oats, so to speak.

No more is this the case than in Illinois, where a state legislator is proposing a bill that would convey the same powers enjoyed by police officers to General Assembly members. Yes, you read that correctly.

On February 8, 2021, State Representative Curtis J. Tarver II, a Democrat introduced House Bill 724, as reported in a legislative status report. And this one is a beauty.             

Under the bill, members of the General Assembly would be designated as “conservators of the peace” after completing a training course administered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board. You’ll have to read it for yourself:

                Sect. 14. Conservators of the peace. After receiving a certificate attesting to the successful completion of a training course administered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board as required under Section 10.5 of the Illinois Police Training Act, all members of the General Assembly shall be conservators of the peace.

Those persons shall have power

(i) to arrest or cause to be arrested, with or without process, all persons who break the peace or are found violating any municipal ordinance or any criminal law of the State.

(ii) to commit arrested persons for examination.

(iii) if necessary, to detain arrested persons in custody over night or Sunday in any safe place or until they can be brought before the proper court, and

(iv) to exercise all other posers as conservators of the peace prescribed by State and corporate authorities.

Yes, you read that correctly. A legislator from the same party that impeached a president for a phone call and then a second time for holding  a rally wants police powers bestowed upon elected officials. What could possibly go wrong?

Can you imagine the power trip these legislators would go on if they had the authority to detain people whose only crime might be disagreeing with them?

Interestingly, in 2019 Tarver was arrested and charged with a gun permit violation in the city of Chicago. He was stopped for a routine traffic violation on the south side of the city. The officer asked Tarver if he had any weapons, whereby he produced his concealed handgun and his CCL. 

However Tarver’s CCL had been revoked due to an expired FOID, which he’d been ordered to surrender to the Illinois State Police but decided he was apparently too busy to do so. 

And this guy wants arrest powers. 

We’ve already seen people criticizing the fact that police officers have the right to take people into custody and deprive them of their liberty after “only” six months or so of training.

Yet, state legislators are supposed to receive the same powers to detain or “commit arrested persons” for examination based on passing a course?

The proposed legislation does not indicate what standards these elected bureaucrats would follow in order to determine if someone was to be either committed or detained overnight. Nor where that commitment or detainment would take place.

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According to American Military News, one Republican state lawmaker, C.D. Davidsmeyer argued the bill would, as noted above undercut the extensive training required of law enforcement officers, and further argued that under the proposed legislation, lawmakers would in fact have more power than police, according to the Journal Courier.

“Under the new [police] reform bill, even police can’t contain someone unless it’s an immediate threat,” Davidsmeyer told the Journal.

“The only training lawmakers have is being on the ballot and being elected,” he said.

Davidsmeyer wasn’t the only one expressing concern about the proposed bill. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association (ISA) also spoke out against the proposal.

According to KHQA-7, Rep. Mike Murphy, a Springfield Republican thinks the bill is absurd.

“This is not the answer by making us conservators of peace or law enforcement officers or whatever you wanna call it,” Murphy said. “It would give us abilities that we have no business doing.”

“HB 724 would certainly seem to blur the line between the Legislative and Executive branches of government to now allow members of the General Assembly to have enforcement powers,” ISA President Jim Kaitschuk told The Police Tribune.

The bill seems to fly in the face of requirements for law enforcement, especially at a time when police are expected to receive even more training than the currently required 560 hours from the basic law enforcement academy and the annual mandated training that we receive.”

“In addition, members of the General Assembly maintain immunity while performing their duties,” Kaitschuk said. “Would they maintain their immunity [under HB724]?”

That’s a valid question, since under the recently passed police reform bill in Illinois, police officers lost their right to qualified immunity. It would seem to be fair that if for some reason this bill actually sees the light of day, state lawmakers should also lose their qualified immunity.

Police Chief Adam Mefford of Jacksonville PD also spoke out questioning the bill, claiming it would blur the lines between legislators and police officers.

“What’s concerning to me if we’re supposed to have separation of powers,” Mefford said. “It doesn’t look like a very good idea to me.”

Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell also thinks it’s a bad idea.

“Right now, law enforcement are required to do 400 to 480 hours of training to graduate from the police academy,” Campbell noted. “Now they wanna take a couple of classes to make those arrests and judgments?”

He also believes the bill oversteps law enforcement territory.

“I think right now, our lawmakers have their hands full doing their job we pay them to do,” Campbell said. “It would be really good if they would stay in that lane.”

Murphy further said that lawmakers would also face possible lawsuits for improperly enforcing the law.

“I can’t see it moving forward, but I’ve been surprised before,” Murphy added.

Tarver’s scheme would seem on its face to be a blatant violation of the Illinois State Constitution, under Article II. It reads:

SECTION 1. SEPARATION OF POWERS

                The legislative, executive, and judicial branches are separate. No branch shall exercise powers properly belonging to another.

Under separation of powers, all “conservators of the peace” are considered to be Executive Department officers and would fall under the Executive Branch. This seems to be a clear unconstitutional act in the State of Illinois.

Elected politicians with minimal police training getting police powers. What could possibly go wrong? 

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The post Georgia democrat representative could see 8 years in prison for trying to interrupt Governor signing new voting law appeared first on Law Enforcement Today.

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Author: Jenna Curren


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