Georgia state senator responds to her "horrific" arrest at protest

When Georgia state Senator Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta) decided to stand beside protestors in the Georgia State Capitol who were chanting "count every vote" earlier this month, she didn't plan on getting arrested. So why did Williams get singled out, put in handcuffs and charged with obstruction?

In the video above, the Georgia senator explains to Palast Investigative Fund reporter Zach D. Roberts the events leading up to and after her arrest and why she felt unfairly targeted.

While attending a special session to address victims of Hurricane Michael, Williams heard commotion from a protest in the rotunda downstairs. After recognizing one of her constituents protesting, Williams decided to stand next to the protester in solidarity, she explained.

Shortly after police told the crowd to disperse, Williams says she was zip-tied by police, detained and asked to submit to a strip search. "It was horrific experience," the state senator said. "They patted me down, like worse than you would get at a TSA pre-check. Then she told me to lift up my dress so they could make sure that I was not carrying something in my vaginal cavity. I am a sitting state senator, that you brought off the rotunda off the capital."

Williams says she was targeted. "I have a constant reminder that I am operating in a system that was not designed for someone like me. A woman for one, a woman of color, in the deep south? This system was never designed for me to serve in this body."

Learn more about Stacey Abrams' legal action in Georgia and how Palast's research and reporting will serve as evidence.

Video Credits:

Cinematography and interview by Zach D. Roberts

Edited by Nicole Powers

Watch Palast's reporting on Salon:

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