MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland issued a local ‘State of Emergency’ after tear gas and smoke bombs were deployed downtown near the entrance to Middle Tennessee State University.
This comes after an earlier peaceful protest rally occurred in Murfreesboro’s downtown square. Murfreesboro Police said in a tweet on Sunday night that a crowd of protesters vandalized an armored vehicle and threw a brick through a window of Whiskey Dix.
“As Mayor, I recognize and fully support the right of people to peacefully assemble and demonstrate,” said Mayor McFarland. “The City is committed to securing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. “At the same time, others have engaged in unlawful activities that endanger peace and public safety. Safeguarding the lives of citizens, preventing significant damage to property, and protecting our law enforcement officers and emergency service providers is the reason I am declaring this local emergency.”
A curfew is now in effect as of 6:30 p.m. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he supports Mayor McFarland’s decision:
“The protests in Murfreesboro are no longer peaceful demonstrations but have escalated to overt threats to public safety and property. I support Mayor McFarland’s 7 p.m. curfew and have authorized both the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the National Guard to provide support on the ground in restoring order for the safety of our citizens,” said Gov. Lee.
So far as of 9:30 p.m., two people were arrested for violating the curfew. One person overcome by tear gas was treated at the scene and refused transport. Another person received medical treatment after a fainting episode on the Square. No police were injured.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.
The latest on the protests and riots following the “I Will Breathe” rally in Nashville: