SLUMSMAG STAFF: Greg Lewis
A white male colleague, who was not arrested at the same voting protest, agrees that state Sen. Nikema Williams was “treated differently.”
Nikema Williams: Being arrested
According to HuffPost, Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta) was arrested along with more than a dozen other protesters at the Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday afternoon at a demonstration asking the state to “count every vote” from last week’s gubernatorial election. Protesters shouted “Let her go!” as Williams was handcuffed while the General Assembly was in session.
Williams was charged with misdemeanor obstruction of justice and spent about six hours at Fulton County Jail in Atlanta.
“There are countless Georgians who cast their ballots and still don’t feel like their voices are heard,” she said in a statement after being released. “I joined them down on the floor, and I was singled out as a Black female senator standing in the rotunda with constituents.”
One of Williams’ white male colleagues, state Rep. David Dreyer (D-Atlanta), went to the same protest with Williams for the same reason and was not arrested. He stood outside the jail after her arrest and spoke out about Williams’ unfair treatment by Capitol police.
Dreyer stated that he went down to the capitol around the same time as Williams, yet, things were different.
” for some reason, Sen. Williams was treated differently than I was treated.”
“Because of our system, because of the bias and the way that our laws are enforced, just like I went down with Sen. Williams to try to de-escalate the situation, Sen. Williams was taken away,” he said. “We understand she’s been left in a van for a very long time on a cold and rainy day.”
Dreyer added: “For some reason, I saw Capitol police lined up three abreast, row after row after row, looking like they were trying to stop a riot, when we were standing up for people’s right to vote. So this is not democracy; this looks a lot more like an authoritarian government. And it seems like that’s happening a lot these days, doesn’t it?”
Williams is the first woman to hold her state legislative seat ― a seat once held by the late civil rights leader Julian Bond. In the spirit of Bond, she said she will keep fighting for a fair election, despite her arrest.
“I’m incredibly proud and will continue to stand with the citizens of Georgia to demand that their votes be counted,” she said.