Protests emerge across Tennessee after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Across the country protests and rallies continue after the death of George Floyd.

RELATED: 4 Minneapolis officers fired after death of George Floyd; Fired police officer Derek Chauvin charged with murder in George Floyd’s death

Floyd was an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who died in police custody after Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck even as he begged for air.

Video released of his death sparking protests and riots in several major American cities from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, and even in Knoxville.


Unrest broke out in Downtown Knoxville near Market Square, a crowd of young people gathered in the area and were met by police in riot gear, and the situation became tense.

Protesters broke multiple windows, damaging some large flower pots and turning over several trash cans in the area. Police managed to get the situation under control, and no injuries were reported.

RELATED: Knoxville mayor, police chief condemn officers in death of George Floyd; George Floyd: Knoxville officers, community activists condemns Minneapolis officer’s brutality

WATE has reached out to Knoxville Police about any arrests made overnight connected to this situation, we will update you as we learn more.


The Morristown Police Department reports they dealt with, “a peaceful protest turned to participants throwing rocks and bottles at our officers and making threats of violence.”

They report that they were made aware of a social media post Saturday afternoon which allegedly solicited individuals to join a peaceful protest starting at 9 p.m. Saturday night.

The police department then reports that approximately 150 people assembled and marched throughout the downtown area chanting, “I can’t breathe,” and “No justice, no peace.”

MPD says, “The crowd eventually gathered at the City Center building blocking both the entrance and exit of the parking garage. Individuals attempted to incite officers in the City Center garage by shouting profanities and derogatory remarks. Officers stayed in place to protect the municipal building and vehicles parked in the garage. Protesters continued to shout profanities and threw rocks and bottles at officers. One officer was struck in the leg by a rock thrown from the crowd.”

The crowd was ordered to disburse around 12:40 a.m.

One person filed a report to the police department alleging he had been struck in the face by a protester.


In Middle Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee mobilized the National Guard in Nashville as violence erupted during a protest late Saturday night.

The “I Will Breathe” protests began Saturday afternoon, and it remained peaceful until nightfall. The situation became volatile as demonstrators sprayed graffiti and broke windows out of the Metro Courthouse.

PHOTOS: ‘I Will Breathe’ protests and riots in Nashville

It then escalated even further just after 8 p.m. (Central) as protesters broke into the courthouse and set fire to the building.

Metro Police broke up the crowd with the use of fireworks and a smoke bomb.

Several protesters clashed with officers who were protecting the police station as well.

This then spread into Downtown Nashville in the lower Broadway area where several businesses were damaged.

VIDEO: Nashville ‘I Will Breathe’: Security footage captures rioters setting fire inside Broadway business

Metro police have released a list of 30 Nashville businesses that were damaged in Saturday night’s protests and riots.

Metro Nashville police officers also arrested 28 people during Saturday’s protests and after the 10:00 p.m. curfew took effect.


Further west in Memphis, protesters taking to the street for a second night of demonstrations.

A diverse crowd coming together, saying this is important, repeating their message for change. The crowd stood in solidarity with crowds in Minneapolis.

RELATED: Memphis protesters march to site where King was killed; Protest of Minneapolis man’s death blocks Memphis street


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