Monday, June 01, 2020

Tennessee protests against racism
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Saturday issued an order in response to a peaceful protest that turned destructive in Nashville on Saturday. The historic courthouse burned, flames swelling through the first-floor windows. Clouds of tear gas mushroomed across Civic Plaza. Protesters streamed through Nashville's streets toward the courthouse as part of the "I Will Breathe" rally to decry police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as other black men and women across the country. Police arrested 28 people during the protests or after the 10 pm curfew. Governor Lee in explaining his order said, “At the request of Mayor Cooper, I am authorizing the National Guard to mobilize in response to protests that have now taken a violent, unlawful turn in Nashville. The threat to both peace and property is unacceptable and we will work with local law enforcement and community leaders to restore safety and order. This is not a reflection of our state or the fundamental American right to peaceful protest.” The governor did not address the suffocation death of Floyd while he was handcuffed, which led to murder charges against the Minneapolis officer. Several hundred also marched in Morristown. The Morristown PD issued a statement Sunday from Police Chief Roger Overholt which says the department respects the rights of all individuals to freely assemble and participate in peaceful protest, “however; this morning what was billed as a peaceful protest turned to participants throwing rocks and bottles at our officers and making threats of violence.” The chief said a crowd gathered at the City Center building blocking both the entrance and exit of the parking garage. Individuals attempted to incite officers in the City Center garage by shouting profanities and derogatory remarks. Officers stayed in place to protect the municipal building and vehicles parked in the garage. One officer was struck on the leg by a rock thrown from the crowd. The crowd was ordered to disburse around 12:40 a.m. One individual filed a report with the police department alleging he had been struck in the face by a protester. Added Chief Overholt, “I would like to thank all the agencies that assisted us in diffusing this situation without significant property damage or injury”. Knoxville saw mostly peaceful protests, however one Knoxville police officer was injured during the Saturday protest. He was struck by a thrown object which struck his head. There also was some vandalism in Knoxville. Chattanooga Police Chief, David Roddy had earlier sent a message to his officers in response to the death of Floyd. The chief said officers who don't see an issue with the video that showed the former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck as Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe," should quit. "There is no need to see more video," Roddy said. " There no need to wait to see how “it plays out”. There is no need to put a knee on someone’s neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something. If you wear a badge and you don’t have an issue with this...turn it in."


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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

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