NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — At least 16 protesters were arrested after refusing to leave the grounds of the Tennessee state Capitol Wednesday night, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Arrest warrants indicate all were warned three times by troopers that the Capitol grounds would close at 11 p.m. and would not reopen until 8 a.m. After two additional warnings, troopers said several of the protesters handcuffed themselves to a railing and refused to leave.
Online court records show at least 16 of the protesters were booked into the Metro jail early Thursday morning. All of them are charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass.
The arrests come one day after Tennessee lawmakers finished a special session by passing a proposal that would make illegally camping on state property a Class E felony, rather than a misdemeanor. A conviction on that charge would result in the revocation of an individual’s right to vote, which is the case for any felony conviction in the state.
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