NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The mayor has announced a 10 p.m. curfew for Nashville on Monday following violence on Saturday night after protests. 

For the third day in a row, Mayor John Cooper signed Executive Order 11, which puts a curfew for city into effect from 10 p.m to 6 a.m. Cooper said the curfew is in place to protect all Nashvillians. To read the full Executive Order, click here

Cooper said those causing the vandalism ignored the social history that took place on those very steps of the Historic Courthouse. 

He urged all of us to protect Nashville as a beacon of civility and to root out bias. Cooper added that he thought the police showed tremendous restraint on Saturday

On Saturday, Metro Nashville Police arrested 28 people after peaceful protests turned violent late Saturday. In response, the mayor established a curfew for 10 p.m. on Saturday.

An 8 p.m. curfew was in effect for Sunday night. Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said Sunday was quiet and there was no issues. Anderson also thanked all Nashvillians who came downtown to peacefully protest.

Anderson said they should have the right to protest without a criminal element involved and the police department looks forward to providing protection for them in the near future.

Specialized Investigations Division detectives and SWAT officers arrested 25-year-old Wesley Somers, who police said set fire to the historic Nashville Courthouse Saturday night.

Somers was arrested on charges of felony arson, vandalism and disorderly conduct for setting the fire. He is being $750,000 bond held in Metro Jail.

The Tennessee National Guard remains mobilized following Saturday night's violent protests. 

"Guard will be in place until we are confident we are back to normal," Cooper said during his daily COVID-19 news conference. 

Anderson said the National Guard was needed because they needed "more people on the street" after "looking at the size of the event."

"We did not obviously anticipate the magnitude of the violence," Anderson said.

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

In response to the curfew, WeGo said it will stop service to the downtown area at 9:15 p.m. Service will resume at 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday. 

"All WeGo buses headed out from downtown this evening at 9:15 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. We apologize for the inconvenience," WeGo said in a statement on Monday. 

On Tuesday, Cooper will join with 12 community faith leaders for a vigil. They are "standing in solidarity against Saturday’s senseless violence and vandalism."

Cooper said the event will be streamed on his Facebook page and is not intended for public participation, due to "security concerns and social distancing precautions."

The prayer vigil will be held on the front lawn of the Historic Metro Courthouse at 6 p.m.

 

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