NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee stopped by to survey the vandalism at City Hall as crews worked quickly to clean up the mess Sunday morning.
The old metro court house— a once significant spot for the civil rights movement has been defaced by spray paint. A monument now has two X’s over the faces of two police officers.
Peter Bondesen said, “I guess I just don’t get it.”
Onlookers like Peter Bondesen and Charlene Holloway stopped by City Hall to see the damage after some protesters turned violent following a peaceful rally to demand social justice on Saturday.
Holloway said, “I know the people don’t know what to do, and in a situation like this with George Floyd, it’s terrible overall. I hate to see people smashing businesses and stuff like that, but I just hope it gets better.”
As crews cleaned up, Governor Bill Lee stopped by to look around the downtown area.
“It’s unfortunate, tragic, certainly doesn’t represent who we are,” Lee said.
He said he’s in full support of peaceful protests but is disappointed it escalated to people setting fires and causing destruction. “What happened yesterday afternoon was part of the fabric of this nation. The first amendment, and appropriate expression of what folks have in their heart, but what happened last night tears up the fabric of this nation.”
As the community processes what happened, crews will be busy making repairs to City Hall and Public Square Park.
Lee said, “We all can help most by speaking for unity and reminding everybody that this isn’t who we are, that this isn’t what America is built upon.”
The National Guard and law enforcement will be deployed to downtown Sunday evening to discourage trouble. The curfew is 8p.m.
The courthouse will be able to reopen tomorrow according to Mayor John Cooper's Office.