Concerns Grow Among Business Owners Over White Lives Matter Rally

Posted at 6:41 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 19:48:54-04

Some business owners have decided to close their doors Saturday ahead of a planned White Lives Matter rally in downtown Murfreesboro.

Owner of WoodsViking Barbershop, Shawn Templeton, said they may cut two hundred heads on an average Saturday, but they won't be open this coming Saturday.

"We went to a meeting with the mayor and police chief and they expect the worst," said Templeton. "It will definitely cost us some money to shutdown, but the safety of our customers is the most important thing to us."

Several white nationalist groups have planned to rally downtown off the square from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Counter protesters are expected to gather.

One WoodsViking customer said some of those counter protesters are coming from as far away as the west coast. Of course, some involved have already arrived.

Merchants recently found some white supremacist graffiti on a building off the square.

"This was covered up fast in a day. Less than a day. So that's how real this is," said Jonte Gaines, the barbershop manager. 

It's become just as real for the district attorney as well.

"Where it gets my attention is when it becomes an illegal act," said D.A. Jennings Jones. 

There's vandalism and the potential for violence. General Jones said police will be on the square Saturday in force. He hoped everyone else will stay home.

"My advice would be to avoid the downtown for that afternoon," said Jones.

A similar rally with counter protests is expected from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Shelbyville.