"I Will Breathe" Rally

The National Guard arrived on Broadway on Saturday night.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee National Guard remains mobilized across the state following “incidents of violence” in downtown Nashville on Saturday night.

Gov. Bill Lee said they have launched an investigation into “unlawful incidents.”

“The right to peaceful protest is foundational to our country, but the violence and vandalism that occurred in Nashville last night was unlawful and tears at the fabric of our community,” Lee said in a statement on Sunday. “We have reason to believe that many of those involved in unlawful acts are not Tennesseans and we will be working with law enforcement to investigate this further and bring those responsible to justice.”

The National Guard arrived on Broadway at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night to assistance police after buildings were damaged and fires were reported at multiple locations. 

The National Guard has been mobilized "across all three Grand Divisions."

"The Tennessee National Guard stands ready, in partnership with local law enforcement, the Department of Safety, and TEMA, to ensure order and safety are maintained in the supported areas for as long as is warranted by the situation,” Lee's office said in a statement on Sunday.

To help law enforcement, a 8 p.m. curfew is in effect for Nashville on Sunday.

The curfew doesn't apply to the following people:

  • law enforcement and fire department personnel
  • first responders
  • officials assisting with maintaining public safety, including medical personnel in the performance of their duties
  • business owners & persons traveling to/from work will be permitted.
  • persons lawfully on the streets and in public places with permission from law enforcement personnel

Sen. Lamar Alexander said Nashville Mayor John Cooper and the governor were right to activate the National Guard "to restore order and allow Nashville to heal and rebuild."

"Looting and burning the courthouse by a few dishonors the peaceful protest of thousands against racial discrimination and police brutality," Alexander tweeted. 

Alexander said all people "must redouble our efforts to change such attitudes and end racial discrimination.”

Metro Nashville Police also tell News4 28 people were arrested after peaceful protests turned violent late Saturday.

Police said the demonstrators were arrested during the protests or after the 10 p.m. curfew. Twenty-five of the 28 protesters arrested are from Tennessee (21 from Davidson County), while three were from out of state. At least 30 businesses/buildings were also damaged after the protests turned violent Saturday night. 

Authorities are looking for several arson suspects who set fire and damaged the Nashville Historic Courthouse. 

Several businesses on Broadway were damaged, with Margaritaville and Big Time Boots appearing to have sustained the most visible damage. News4 crews arrived to find the door and windows to Margaritaville shattered, as well as water running all over the floor. 

On Saturday night, Cooper signed an executive order, declaring a state of civil emergency, and setting up a curfew for 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Sunday morning. Another curfew goes into effect Sunday at 8 p.m. in Nashville. 

Nashville was one of 25 cities to implement a curfew Saturday night. Click here to see the full executive order. 

WeGo has suspended service to the downtown area starting at 7:15 p.m.  

"All WeGo buses headed out from downtown at 7:15 p.m. will drop off passengers until the bus reaches the end of the line and no passengers will be picked up for the rest of the evening. Access trips will continue to operate until all reservations are completed," WeGo said in a statement on Sunday. 

Service is expected to resume normally on Monday. 

The Nashville Predators tweeted about the protests. People were seen spray painting the Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night. 

Surveillance video from inside Big Time Boots shows a crowd smashing the door and making their way inside, as well as two men trying to start a fire inside. Forrest Sanders spoke with owner Ed Smith who had several expensive boots stolen from his shelves. 

"We're gonna clean this glass up; we're gonna pick everyone up," Smith said. "We'll be praying for them. We'll be praying for them tonight. It's the only way I know to get over it. We have to." 

The head of security at four bars on Broadway told News4's Nancy Amons what he saw as protesters started vandalizing and looting businesses.

"They started breaking into Margaritaville and Boot Barn," he said. "They made their way down; we watched them break into the Stage...I saw mic stands, speakers, amps, stuff like that off the stage."

See the interview below:

Police officers said around 10:45 p.m. Saturday that Downtown Nashville was "essentially cleared." No officers were injured, but at least six MNPD vehicles were significantly damaged.

The Metro Courthouse also sustained significant damage as demonstrators clashed with officers. Demonstrators covered the courthouse with graffiti, set fires inside the courthouse, shattered windows and even toppled light posts. 

They also threw water bottles at officers, who had to use flash bangs and gas to disperse the crowd. 

The Edward Carmack statue at the State Capitol was also knocked over. 

Before demonstrators clashed with police outside the courthouse, they marched through downtown Nashville to the Metro Police Department's Central Precinct. To see the full demonstration, click here. 

A full list of buildings and businesses damaged can be found below. 

Historic Metro Courthouse:

  • Significant profane graffiti 
  • Fire and water damage
  • Multiple windows destroyed

Ryman Auditorium:

  • Damage to windows


  • Damage to windows 

Boost Mobile:

  • Damage to doors and windows
  • Stolen phones

Parking ticket booth damaged near Commerce Street & 5th Ave. N

Premier Parking window damaged near Commerce Street & 5th Ave. N. 


  • Several broken windows

Dicks Last Resort:

  • Broken window

SP+ Parking:

  • Broken windows

227 2nd Ave. N:

  • Broken windows

Goorin Bro's Hat Shop:

  • Broken front windows and possible theft

Market Street Mercantile:

  • Broken windows and possible theft

Doc Holiday:

  • Broken windows

Big Shotz:

  • Broken windows


  • Broken TV and window

Wild Horse Saloon:

  • Broken window

Robin Realty:

  • Broken windows

Honey Girl:

  • Broken windows and possible theft

Cerveza Jack's:

  • Broken windows

Hart & Huntington Tattoo Shop:

  • Broken door glass

SP+ Parking:

  • Broken window and door glass

Cotton Eyed Joe:

  • Shattered window

Redneck Riviera:

  • Shattered window


  • Shattered window

Boot Barn:

  • Shattered windows


  • Shattered window/door
  • Possible theft
  • BLM tag sprayed on side

Big Time Boots:

  • Shattered door

The Stage:

  • Shattered windows


  • Shattered window

Legend's Corner:

  • Shattered window


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