Gov. Lee sends Tennessee Highway Patrol and National Guard to Murfreesboro protests

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued a statement Sunday evening about the protests in Murfressboro and the decision to impose a curfew in the city.

“The protests in Murfreesboro are no longer peaceful demonstrations but have escalated to overt threats to public safety and property,” Lee said. ” I support Mayor McFarland’s 7 p.m. curfew and have authorized both the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the National Guard to provide support on the ground in restoring order for the safety of our citizens.”

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Earlier Sunday, Lee said the Tennessee National Guard will remain mobilized across the state following the violent Saturday night protests, riots and vandalism in Nashville.

He said the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, with the aid of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement authorities, will launch an investigation into “unlawful incidents.”

“The right to peaceful protest is foundational to our country, but the violence and vandalism that occurred in Nashville last night was unlawful and tears at the fabric of our community,” Lee said.. “We have reason to believe that many of those involved in unlawful acts are not Tennesseans and we will be working with law enforcement to investigate this further and bring those responsible to justice.”

National Guard personnel have been mobilized in all three Grand Divisions to assist state and local law enforcement, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

In addition to support from the Guard, Gov. Lee has authorized the continuation of a curfew in Nashville and will support similar measures in other Tennessee cities as requested.

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