Large turn out for ‘Community Unity Prayer Gathering’ Saturday in Johnson City


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Saturday at 6 p.m. a “Community Unity Prayer Gathering” occurred at the Johnson City Police Department.

As protests continue across the country, thousands are outraged and call for action following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Protests sparked in Minneapolis are also being seen here in the Tri-Cities.

Friday night residents gathered to peacefully protest outside the Johnson City Police Department.

MORE: Protesters gather outside of Johnson City Municipal Building for second night

Saturday community members and community leaders met on the front steps of the Johnson City Police Department to join in a “Community Unity Prayer Gathering” at 6 p.m.

A press release to News Channel 11 said the following.

“We are seeking the Face of God together during these challenging and trying times in our country. You are welcome to join us. If you do attend, please practice social distancing of 6 feet a part from one another and wear face masks.”

Aaron T. Murphy

Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock and Police Chief Karl Turner both spoke today at this Community Unity Prayer Gathering.

Both touched on what happened in Minneapolis and are hoping to show unity within the Johnson City community.

“I think that it’s really important that our police department is engaged in what’s going on right now and in a very proactive way, and so I wanted to come down and support that,” said Mayor Brock, “They just want their voices heard, and that’s very important that we put our ear to the ground and we listen and we try to figure out things on how we can be better.”

This is the third day people have gathered in downtown.

“I respect the message, and I respect the manner in which they’ve delivered the message,” said Chief Turner.

Chief Turner has spoken out against the actions of the officers involved in George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

“There’s only one conclusion that I came to personally and that is those officers committed a crime, and when you’re wrong you have to admit that you’re wrong,” said Turner.

MORE: Local police speak out against actions of former Minneapolis police officer

He said he wants the people of Johnson City to know his team is listening.

“The important thing is they know we are hearing the message and that we understand the message,” Turner explained.

A protest continued after the community prayer gathering.

“I’m going to protest everyday until something changes,” said a protest organizer, Katelyn Yarbrough, “What they are doing is positive. We want to be heard. They should be on the corner with us.”

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