Security Visible After Senator Shuts Down Office

Posted at 8:33 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-23 01:33:30-05

One day after she locked and shut down her office in response to several activists, security is now present at the door of Senator Mae Beavers' office. 

The Republican senator and her legislative assistant left and closed the office from everyone in the middle of the day, almost an hour after several Tennesseans camped out at her office lobby. 

The activists said they wanted to talk to Beavers over concerns about her proposed controversial bathroom and marriage bills.

At least one of the organizers, Fisk University student Justin Jones, knocked on the senator's door several times as she was inside and read several writings out loud including "Letter From Birmingham Jail."

"We had written emails sent, tweets sent, phone calls and I had no response, so we went to her office and were willing to wait until she had time to meet," Jones told NewsChannel 5.


Eventually, Beavers walked out and could be heard saying, "I'm closing down, remove them from my office" through a cell phone video. Activists followed her to the elevator as police blocked them from entering. 

Last week, the senator and Republican Representative Mark Pody tried to discuss their legislation in a press conference but quickly ended it after protesters shouted them down. 

Those who were in her office lobby on Tuesday were not her constituents but some say that should not matter. 

"What's really at stake here is the entire question of equality and Tennesseans' rights. That's why we were there. There's no other reason but to reason and have a dialog with this really important issue," Ryan Jeanes, one of the activists said. "If you're going to run for office and sponsor a controversial bill like this you're going to have to answer questions on it."

Jones described what they did as a sit-in and planned on conducting one again on Wednesday. However, he sent an email to her office in hopes to set a meeting. 

In an email response, Beavers' office said that her schedule is currently booked up from the press conference being interrupted and rescheduled meetings. The email said that the office is giving priority meetings to her constituents when her schedule allows. 

Jones told NewsChannel 5 that he plans to have more sit-ins in the near future until Beavers would at lest agree to meet and discuss their concerns. 

Senator Beavers declined NewsChannel 5's request for an interview.