Gov. Lee authorizes National Guard to stabilize Nashville protests

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is calling on the Tennessee National Guard to stabilize crowds of people who were protesting the death of George Floyd.

“At the request of Mayor Cooper, I am authorizing the National Guard to mobilize in response to protests that have now taken a violent, unlawful turn in Nashville. The threat to both peace and property is unacceptable and we will work with local law enforcement and community leaders to restore safety and order. This is not a reflection of our state or the fundamental American right to peaceful protest,” Gov. Lee said in a statement.

According to WREG’s sister station in Nashville, Mayor John Cooper declared a state of civil emergency after ‘I Will Breathe’ protests turned violent, leading to a fire at the Nashville Metro Courthouse.

Metro Police issued a curfew for the entire city beginning at 10 p.m. and strongly urging those causing harm to leave. They earlier deployed gas on Broadway to disperse crowds and deployed gas at the courthouse to protect the building after protesters set it on fire.

Police in Nashville said Sunday morning that 30 businesses and buildings were damaged overnight. Twenty-eight people were arrested.

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