JCPD responds to complaints about Volunteer Pawn protesters


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — More than a week after protesters first appeared outside of a Johnson City pawn shop, police spoke with News Channel 11 about complaints some have made about those who have continued to protest.

The protests came after members of the New Panther group were denied from purchasing guns at the business. According to police, that led to an altercation between a member of the group and a store manager.

The shop temporarily closed but reopened earlier this week.

After viewers reached out to News Channel 11 about protesters allegedly harassing customers at the pawn shop, we asked Johnson City police about the protesters.

“There have been a couple reports where they’ve been harassing customers and saying things as they pass through,” Lt. Keith Sexton said. “But you know, again, words…no one ever bleeds from words. I don’t know of any reports of any vandalism or anything like that. As long as they stay off the sidewalk [and] people can come and go, they can say whatever they want to say.”

The business manager of Volunteer Pawn pleaded not guilty Thursday to an assault charge.

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