JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Johnson City Police Chief Karl Turner addressed a protest in Johnson City Monday that lasted into the overnight hours and lead to several arrests.
Chief Turner was first up to the podium ahead of another night of a scheduled protest and a Black Lives Matter Caravan, both scheduled to take place in downtown Johnson City.
“We’re reaching out to them right now trying to point out ways that they can protest peacefully and we’ll also have our officers here again in case there are problems we need to address,” Chief Turner said.
He also addressed the fact that several of the people arrested Monday night were from outside of the Tri-Cities region.
“From looking at the arrest report and the people that were arrested, seven of those I believe were not from Johnson City…Knoxville, I think Spring Hill was another city if I remember correctly,” Chief Turner said.
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Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock said protesters are planning to gather at 6 p.m. at City Hall Tuesday and walk to Founders Park.
Brock said she was planning to walk with protesters Monday night, but that things took a turn.
“I would say we need to kind of convert this outrage into output, what can we do about it and that’s where we were heading until last night kind of got hijacked by a group that kind of lead the march early and left the Founders Park area,” Mayor Brock said.
Brock said she intends to walk with protesters Tuesday night as long as participants follow the law.
“We look forward to a peaceful protest tonight and we will continue to listen,” Mayor Brock said.
It was asked during Tuesday’s briefing if there has been a consideration for a curfew amid the protests in Johnson City.
Johnson City’s City Manager Pete Peterson said in part, “At this time there is not justification to impose a curfew. In order to have the justification for a curfew, there need to be acts of violence, something that really warrants ratcheting up control of the situation to a different level,” Peterson said.
You can watch the entire news briefing on our WJHL Facebook page below.