Georgia State Senator Arrested During ‘Count Every Vote’ Protest

Sen. Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta) is arrested by capitol police during a protest over election ballot counts in the rotunda of the state capitol building Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in Atlanta. Dozens filled the rotunda in the center of the Capitol's second floor Tuesday just as the House was scheduled to …
AP Photo/John Bazemore
KYLE MORRIS

First-term Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta) was among a handful of demonstrators detained and removed from the Capitol during a protest on Tuesday.

In a video shared to Twitter, Williams, the first vice chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, was seen standing in the Capitol rotunda as officers placed plastic restraints on her wrist.

“I was not yelling. I was not chanting,” Williams said in the video. “I stood peacefully next to my constituents because they wanted their voices to be heard, and now I’m being arrested.”

The protest, which was organized by Black Lives Matter, gathered under the Golden Dome in the rotunda where chants of “count every vote” echoed from the voices of nearly 100 people.

Georgia authorities say the protest was broken up after they had been warned several times not to break rules by yelling and chanting while lawmakers are in session. People began getting arrested around 1:30 p.m. once the House convened for a special session called by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Several of Williams’ Democratic colleagues spoke out in support for Nikema.

“When a sitting senator, who is the vice chair of the state Democratic Party, is thrown into a paddy wagon at the state capitol it is a stark reminder that our right to freely assemble is at risk,” said state Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta).

Williams and other protesters were taken to the Fulton County jail. As of now, it is not clear whether those arrested will face charges, or what those charges will be.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

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