Demonstrations end with tear gas in Murfreesboro

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Demonstrators marched in Murfreesboro Sunday afternoon in a largely peaceful display for George Floyd, a man who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis last week, before tear gas was deployed onto participants.

Many businesses in Murfreesboro’s historic town square boarded up their windows in preparation for the crowds, fearing there could be violence. A brick was thrown through the window of Whiskey Dix on the square.

After the demonstration, crowds began making their way to nearby Middle Tennessee State University’s campus, where tear gas was deployed by Murfreesboro police.

MORE: Curfew now in effect for Murfreesboro after mayor issues local ‘state of emergency’

The gas was deployed at the intersection of East Main Street and Middle Tennessee Boulevard at a crowd of protesters who were blocking the intersection and were almost hit by traffic, according to Murfreesboro police. An armored vehicle was also vandalized.

Murfreesboro police reported one person was overcome by the gas and treated on the scene but did not require hospitalization. Another was treated after a fainting episode on the square.

Murfreesboro protests
(Photo: WKRN)

Two people were arrested for violating the Governor’s emergency curfew order.

The peaceful demonstration at the square included nine minutes of silence, to symbolize the nine minutes a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck.

“It’s about everybody joining together, it’s about people that aren’t of the black race speaking up for us as well,” explained demonstrator Gloria Harris.

“By staying silent, you’re allowing this to happen. That’s why we’re out here today. To show support for other people who are of color, who are not white,” added Haleigh Zegel.

MTSU campus leaders said a small number of peaceful protesters interacted with police once they arrived on campus. MTSU said there were no incidents on campus and it was a peaceful event.

The city-wide curfew for Murfreesboro expired at 5 a.m. Monday.


The latest on the protests and riots following the “I Will Breathe” rally in Nashville:

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