Man accused of driving through protesters in Memphis pleads ‘not guilty’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man police say tried to drive his truck through a group of protesters in Overton Square Saturday night took a ‘not guilty’ plea in court Monday morning.

The District Attorney General’s Office charged William Day with reckless endangerment and reckless driving after he tried to drive through a group of protesters at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Cooper Street.

A protester told police they were hit but no one reported any injuries.

Attorney Leslie Ballin is representing Day in court and says the entire situation was caught on camera and could work in their favor.

“Well, in fact he was inching forward in an attempt to get through an intersection that has been blocked off that is normally open for vehicular traffic,” Ballin said. “The route he would take to his home right around the corner. What did he do wrong?”

WREG spoke with protesters who said they had a right to be there.

“We weren’t doing anything,” Protest Organizer L.J. Abraham said. “We had 10 people blocking off the driveway up here and he proceeded to keep driving.”

The group of protesters were protesting Porch and Parlor after racial discrimination allegations came out about the restaurant’s owner, Flight Ownership Group.

WREG did some digging and found Day is a well-known business man in the area. He also has two prior reckless driving charges in Shelby County.

He was found guilty on one of those in 1998 and placed on probation with his driver’s license revoked for a year.

Day is scheduled to reappear in court next month.

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