by Robin Kemp

On Friday, Rep Park Cannon was arrested at the Georgia State Capitol by several Georgia State Troopers after knocking on the side door to Gov. Brian Kemp’s office. Inside, Kemp was holding a signing ceremony for controversial Senate Bill 202, which critics say restricts Georgia voting rights and proponents say increases election security. During the incident, a staffer identified as Andrew Stephens or Andrew Smith reportedly called in a panic, saying protestors were trying to knock down the side door. As a result, Park was arrested and the governor and First Lady were hustled into a secure room. No protestors were taken into custody. The Clayton Crescent has asked the governor’s press secretary to clarify the name and title of the person who reportedly made the call. Video and the incident reports themselves do not indicate anyone other than Park–and the arresting officer who leaned up against it briefly–touched the door.

The Clayton Crescent filed an Open Records Request the day of Cannon’s arrest and expects a response from the Georgia State Patrol no later than Wednesday, March 31. Late Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein, who covers the Capitol, got a 13-page copy of the initial incident report and supplementals.

Read the Georgia State Patrol incident report and supplementals

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According to the reports turned in by the troopers involved in Park’s arrest:

  • C. Seymour (#140) was the arresting officer.
  • Cpl. Kasey Smith was inside the governor’s office during the signing.
  • Director of Executive Protection SFC Mooney
  • Sgt. Womble (#145) told Cannon to stop knocking, first at the front entrance, then the side entrance.
  • Sgt. Nick Jenkins with Dignitary protection
  • Andrew Stephens (and/or Andrew Smith), who reportedly called for help from the governor’s office and “who advised the crowd was attempting to breach the wooden doors that Representative Cannon had been beating on”
  • Lt. G. Langford (#56), who also took part in the arrest
  • Sgt. T. Brown (#1809) of the Georgia State Capitol Police, who along with Seymour cuffed and removed Cannon from the building by way of the elevator.
  • Capitol Police Officers E. Dorval (#1831) and G. Sanchez (#1822), who provided backup as Cannon was being put into a patrol car.
  • Capitol Police Officer Screws (#1813), who drove Cannon to Fulton County Jail for booking.

Langford and Seymour reported that Cannon had stomped on their feet during the arrest, filing photos of a boot and Langford’s bare foot, which he said had been injured.

Seymour stated, “The events of January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol were in the back of my mind. I didn’t want the protestors to attempt to gain entry into a secure part of the Capitol. I believed Cannon’s actions of obstructing law enforcement in front of agitated protestors to constitute a breach of the peace. I stated ‘I told you. That’s it. Quit, You’re under arrest.'”

He then describes Cannon’s passive resistance, which was livestreamed at the time, and alleges Cannon stomped officers’ feet and kicked the elevator buttons during her arrest:

“I grabbed her right wrist and placed it behind her back as SGT Womble grabbed her left wrist. SGT Womble removed her bag and handed it to Erica Thomas. I began placing handcuffs on Cannon and she attempted to pull both arms from behind her back. Even though she was resisting, SGT Womble and I were able to get her into handcuffs by preventing her from getting her arms back in front of her body. As we started to escort Cannon out of the Capitol, she began stomping her feet. Then she attempted to plant her feet and resist moving. The other protestors were yelling and had to be ordered to move out of the way and to stay back as we moved Cannon to the elevator. After I pressed the first floor button in the elevator, Cannon began kicking. I pushed her right leg down and instructed her to stop kicking. She continued kicking and began kicking the elevator control panel, causing the doors to open back up. After I pushed her right leg down, she kicked with her left leg. As the doors were closing again, I attempted to deescalate the situation by stating, “just stop, you are under arrest, stop making it worse”. Cannon stopped kicking as the elevator started moving. After getting off the elevator on the first floor, Cannon
resisted the entire length of the Capitol building, from the North elevators to the Capitol Square entrance on the South end of the Capitol. She stomped her feet, planted her feet and at times, drug her feet. She constantly pulled against the direction we were trying to move her. Cannon was wearing high heels and stomped on my right foot several times while we were trying to get her out. She also stomped SGT Womble’s foot as well. After exiting the Capitol, Cannon continued to resist us moving her all the way to the Capitol Police car that arrived to transport her. Prior to placing Cannon in the back seat of the patrol car, I checked the handcuffs for tightness and made sure they were double locked so that they could not get any tighter. A female Capitol Police Officer, SGT Brown, checked Cannon for weapons. I instructed Cannon to have a seat in the back of the car and she refused. I attempted to convince Cannon to get into the car and put my right hand above her waistline to push. She stated, “stop pushing on me”. I removed my hand and again instructed her to get into the car. I believe SGT Brown was able to pull her arms from inside of the vehicle. I placed my hand on top of her head as she went into the back seat to make sure she didn’t hit it on the car. After sitting in the car, Cannon refused to put her feet into the car. I had to grab her left ankle and place her left foot inside of the vehicle. I then grabbed her right ankle and placed her right foot inside of the vehicle. At that point, she was turned over to Capitol Police Officer Screws. Screws transported Cannon to the Fulton County Jail where she was charged with 16-10-24 and 16-11-34.1. I completed a first report of injury to my
Supervisor for the pain and bruising in my right foot.”

Womble wrote that “Langford advised her to turn around and put her hands behind her back, that she
was under arrest for obstruction. I then proceeded to assist Lt. Langford by placing her left hand behind her back. Representative Cannon began resisting arrest by attempting to lock her arms towards her front and attempted to move away from myself and Lt. Langford. Once Representative Cannon was secured in handcuffs, Lt. Langford and I began escorting her towards the exit of the Capitol. While attempting to escort Representative Cannon out of the building from the Governor’s Office, she resisted by kicking and attempting to lock her legs in place. Once we
arrived at the elevator, she began kicking the elevator control panel in an attempt to hinder the movement of the elevator. Once we arrived on the 1st Floor, Representative Cannon continuously resisted and attempted to hinder our movements by not moving. She attempted to keep her feet on the ground and was continuously pulling away from us.”

Dorval added, “Cannon resisted arrest and stomped on Lt. Langford’s foot three times with her heels.”

In his report, Langford said he heard Cannon banging at the front door of the governor’s office about 6:30 p.m. and that he told her “no one was in the office and that it was closed..” Mooney said he told Cannon to stop banging on the door because “she was disturbing a live recording conference that was going on inside the Governor’s
Ceremonial Office.” Inside, Smith “was providing close protection within the Ceremonial Room of the Governor’s Office during a live press conference” when he heard “what appeared to be several people yelling in the North Wing. The others in the room also began to look around wondering where the noise was coming from. I requested information about the noise from troopers outside the office. A few moments later, SFC Mooney entered the Ceremonial Office from the front entrance and advised someone was attempting to breech [sic] the doors and to move to the safe room. After making our way into the back hallway, we learned that the subjects presenting a threat had been detained and we resumed normal operations.”

Mooney said, “At approximately18:36 SGT Nick Jenkins with Dignitary Protection received a call from a Governor’s Staff member Andrew Stephens who advised the crowd was attempting to breach the wooden doors that
Representative Cannon had been beating on. We briefly secured the Governor and First Lady for a
short period of time and resumed his live conference a short time later.”

According to Jenkins, “All doors leading to and from the Ceremonial Office were closed, around 1830 hours I began hearing loud voices coming from somewhere beyond the Ceremonial Office. Not being able to pin-point the location of the noise, I quickly moved to the front office to investigate the noise which was amplifying as I moved beyond the door. I quickly realized I was hearing yelling, screaming and loud banging against a door. As I exited the secured front office and looked left in the direction of the loud commotion I was hearing, I observed a black female snatching at the door handle of the side door entrance into the Governor’s office. There were several other individuals standing around the female, one with what appeared to be holding a large piece of chain, another with a sign and another holding a camera. The noise level was incredibly loud, Office Staff member Andrew Smith contacted me by phone at 1836 hours from his location in an office near the side doors, in panic he told me to lock the office down and move the Governor and First Lady from the Ceremonial Office as the side door was shaking so violently, he felt it would be breached. Corporal Kasey Smith quickly moved and took up a position on the backside of the side door. The Governor and First Lady were moved briefly from the Ceremonial Office to a more secured location. Uniformed Troopers approached the group on the outside of the side door and I quickly moved back inside securing all doors as I moved to the area of the Governor and First Lady. I advised them of the situation outside from a secure location near the Ceremonial Office, during our conversation, yelling from the lady and several others could be heard for a few minutes even after the beating and snatching at the doors stopped..”

More to come.

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