Protest organizer reacts to riot that followed peaceful event

Local News

After a peaceful protest in the Legislative Plaza on Saturday turned into a riot in downtown Nashville.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After a peaceful protest in the Legislative Plaza on Saturday turned into a riot in downtown Nashville.

Thousands gathered at 3 p.m. to hear from speakers with several local groups discussing the George Floyd death and the impact police brutality has had on our country.

Protest organizer Prophetess Venita Lewis said it was a great event. But what followed the protest was not something her team was a part of.

As hundreds marched to the historic courthouse, Metro Police headquarters near the Music City Center, and later lower Broadway to cause damages. Metro Police tell News 2 around 30 buildings and businesses were damaged.

“That’s happening all across the country. The protests are not gonna end peacefully. For whatever that reason is, for the peacemakers who organize the marches, they cannot stop because we have to let America know that we are simply tired,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the rioting will not stop when associated with Floyd’s death.

“But the rioting is very minimal to the pain and the hurt on the inside of African Americans around this country.  So we move forward and we keep persevering and we will continue to challenge America to change the way they look at us for some reason that we don’t understand,” Lewis said.

Lewis said later this week those same groups plan to schedule a second phase to move the message forward once again.

“We can fix downtown, we can fix the country.  But can you fix death?  Can you fix that?  So that’s what’s most important now.  We won’t get caught up in that.  We will still be peaceful and we will still organize,” Lewis said.

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