MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jamie Grant drove to D.C. from Memphis with several of his friends to witness history. At the time, he didn’t know he’d find himself right at the center of it.
Grant said the protest outside the Capital began peacefully.
“It was dialogue. It was conversation,” he said.
That changed when some in the crowd of protesters forced their way past a barricade, Grant said. He was knocked to the ground in the commotion.
“I got taken down. Was down on the ground,” he said.
Grant made it to his feet in time to see more people streaming up the steps to Capitol. Some snatched police gear, he said, in an effort to force their way inside which they eventually did. Grant said he remained outside filming the entire time.
“They took a riot shield from one of them. They got one of the big canisters of CS gas from one of them,” said Grant.
Police said they found several guns on the grounds of the Capitol, but Grant said he didn’t see anyone with guns.
The events in D.C. have sparked condemnation from both sides of the political aisle and from political operatives in Memphis.
“I think it probably hurts the cause more than it helps the cause. I think that we’re taking steps back rather than taking steps forward,” said James Jones, an officer with the Shelby County GOP.
“I think storming the Capitol, I think that is when you start crossing the line,” Jones said.
A Wednesday morning protest in Memphis remained peaceful.
People took to the corner of Poplar and Perkins to hold signs voicing their concerns about the nation’s electoral process.
“It’s time to stand up and say we’re not gonna accept this any longer,” said organizer Charlotte Bergmann.
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