NewsNewsChannel 5 Investigates


Man arrested for arson in Saturday protests does not talk with investigators

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Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 01, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro police are making arrests of people involved in Saturday's violence.

One of the first arrests was of Wesley Somers who is charged with arson, vandalism and disorderly conduct.

His arrest history shows he is from Middle Tennessee, but some are questioning if he acted on his own or is part of a group with a larger agenda.

Video from Sky 5 shows people surrounding the Metro Courthouse on Saturday night.

Zoom in and you can see what appears to be Wesley Somers attempting to set a fire through a broken window.

It corresponds with a photo from Nashville photographer John Partipilo.

Shortly after that photo was released on social media Metro Police arrested Somers at his home in Madison.

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson would not speculate on whether Somers was part of any outside organization.

He said Somers did not talk with officers when he was arrested.

But we know Somers was arrested in Davidson County in 2016, for child neglect and drug possession.

The affidavit states Somers was observed using heroin in the back of a vehicle parked in the Walmart parking lot.

He had two small children inside the vehicle ages 2 and 8 months.

He eventually pleaded guilty to attempted child neglect.

The drug charges were dismissed.

Somers was put on probation and arrested more times for violating probation.

Some on social media claimed his tattoos indicated he was part of a larger group, but we have found no evidence of that.

We sent pictures of his tattoos to the Southern Poverty Law Center which follows hate groups.

A spokesperson responded that there is no indication that the tattoos they saw were related to a hate group.

Members of the Equity Alliance which helped organize the rally at Legislative Plaza condemned the violence that happened after the march.

One protester who calls himself an anti fascist organizer told NewsChannel 5 Investigates the violence was not sparked by left or right wing organizations, but was from individuals who are just angry.