MURFREESBORO, TENN. (WSMV) - Multiple arrests were made after Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland has issued a local 'State of Emergency' for the City of Murfreesboro in response to circumstances nationwide that have led to unlawful activities, including violence and destruction of property.
This order will go into effect on Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
At least two people have been arrested for violating the order, according to police.
A curfew went into effect at 6:30 p.m. after tear gas was deployed in the intersection of E. Main and Middle Tenn. Blvd. Police say one person was treated by medical crews.
According to police, a crowd of protesters were blocking the intersection and almost hit by moving vehicles.
Police also say an armored vehicle was also vandalized while a brick was thrown through a window of Whiskey Dix on the square.
Witness video from the scene shows a group of protesters standing and sitting in the intersection of Main and Middle Tennessee Blvd near Middle Tennessee State University’s campus.
“We were just sitting here and you know being peaceful and they pulled up. They threw out canisters as you can see he backed his car in and there was nothing peaceful on their end,” one woman told NEWS4.
A police armoured vehicle arrives and instructs protesters to move or tear gas would be administered. The protesters moved.
Another video shows moments after tear gas was deployed, additional flash bang shots can be heard fired by police.
According to an MTSU spokesperson, a small number of peaceful protesters were facilitated by MTSU Police when they arrived on campus. There were no incidents and all was peaceful.
“We respect the rights of those who wish to peacefully express their views and appreciate those who did so today in a manner that reflects our True Blue spirit,” said MTSU spokesman Andrew Oppmann.
This declaration comes after a peaceful vigil Sunday afternoon. About 300 people rallied around the Murfreesboro Square calling for justice for the death of George Floyd and an end to police brutality in America.
“Your voice. Your message,” organiser Mike McDougal shouted to the crowd.
“This is the time where our community needs to be reinforced. To uplift each other,” said demonstrator Malik Robertson.
Murfreesboro Police made their presence known to demonstrators to prevent property damage. Police barricaded the square with metal gates and limited entry to one location. One person was treated for heat exhaustion.
Some at the protest were frustrated with police before leading people out of the square and further into Murfreesboro.
“I don’t see no police over here listening to us,” said one speaker who said he attended Nashville’s protest the day before.
“I think that was soft man. I thought it was going to get crackin. That’s why I came down here,” said demonstrator Jacques Ross.
Several businesses around Murfreesboro’s square boarded up windows before the protest began.
The Mayor issued the order pursuant to special emergency powers granted to local governments pursuant to state law.