Attorney for Volunteer Pawn employee, manager: ‘There’s not a racist bone in their bodies,’ intend to reopen shop


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- For the first time Wednesday, we heard from the attorney of the Volunteer Pawn employee targeted by protesters and accused of racial profiling.

Monday afternoon, a large number of people who said they are a part of a group called the New Panthers, accused an employee of Volunteer Pawn of racial profiling and refusing to sell them guns.

As tensions grew and after police arrived, one of the members accused employee Daryl Lovelace of assaulting him.

Lovelace was later served with a criminal summons.

On Wednesday, Lovelace’s attorney, Dan Smith, said his clients refused to sell the group guns after as many as 15 to 20 people came into the store together – causing him to be concerned.

“Now understand he’s got at any given time about 700 firearms in that store.  And the idea that he would start showing and demonstrating those firearms to 15 or 20 people is something he was uncomfortable with and something he did not want to do,” Smith said.

Pictured: Attorney Dan Smith

Attorney Dan Smith said Lovelace agreed to let a couple of the customers back into the store.

He said instead of looking at weapons, they confronted the manager.

Smith said a police officer escorted a confrontational woman out of the store, and that’s when the woman claimed she was assaulted.

Photo: WJHL

Lovelace’s attorney told News Channel 11’s Josh Smith that his client assaulted no one and that he’s not racist in any way.

“Mr. Lovelace and his wife, manager and employee have been doing this for five years.  They would sell guns to anyone who qualified and there’s not a racist bone in their bodies.  And there’s not a thing they’ve done that suggests otherwise.  And we’re very very offended by that charge,” Smith said.

Volunteer Pawn has been closed since Monday.

He said the intention is to reopen the business soon.

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