NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A judge denied the state's motion to put restrictions on protester Justin Jones, who is one of the demonstrators at Legislative Plaza protesting injustice.
The State filed an expedited hearing asking that Jones be prohibited from entering the State Capital and Legislative Parking Garage while he had charges pending.
Jones was recently charged for obstruction of a passage way at the State Capitol. He has since made bond at $500.
The judge denied the District Attorney’s motion to ban me from the Capitol grounds and require electronic GPS monitoring. The state filed this motion at the direction of @GovBillLee’s appointed commissioner and stated I was a “danger to public safety.” 1/ pic.twitter.com/9fTNyzwLyW— Justin Jones (@brotherjones_) August 13, 2020
However, the state said Jones has about 10 charges pending.
State attorneys said Jones posed safety concern to his community, legislators, troopers, and himself.
Jones said the judge’s decision on Thursday is bigger than him and proves the courts are a first line of defense.
“What happened in this court today was some step forward. One step for justice," Jones said. "But, it’s important to note because if this would have happened, it could have happened to anyone and set a very chilling effect for free speech in our state that’s already under attack by the lawmakers as we saw last night.”
One important note in the judge’s ruling is stressing the seriousness of the government restricting people’s constitutional right to free movement especially in issues of moral dissent and protest.2/— Justin Jones (@brotherjones_) August 13, 2020
State lawmakers ended a special session with a bill that will create harsher punishments for protesters who camp outside the capitol building. Jones commented on the bill that would make it a felony to camp outside the state capitol.
"Lawmakers got arrogant with their temporary power and forgot we have a higher power and that’s a constitution," Jones said.
Grateful for this step forward for protecting constitutional rights, especially after last night’s passage of extreme anti-protestor bills in the Tennessee legislature. The struggle continues ✊🏾 #FreeCapitolHillTN #goodtrouble3/3— Justin Jones (@brotherjones_) August 13, 2020
Jones said the protesters who’ve been at legislative plaza for 61 days now plan to continue to make their voice heard calling for justice.
A total of 14 protesters were arrested at the State Capitol overnight Wednesday. Court papers said all of the arrests were for trespassing.
Jones said their request remains the same that Gov. Bill Lee come and speak with demonstrators.