MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Eight adults and four children were charged with trespassing after police said they entered the Providence Medical Pavilion in Mt. Juliet Friday morning and refused to leave amid an anti-abortion demonstration.
Captain Tyler Chandler with the Mt. Juliet Police Department said officers received a call around 8 a.m. of 22 protesters inside the abortion clinic that operates out of the medical building on Crossings Circle, which is off South Mt. Juliet Road near Interstate 40.
The demonstrators, which included a mix of adults and children, sat down inside and were told to leave but refused, Chandler explained during a news briefing.
When officers arrived, Captain Chandler said they gave the demonstrators multiple warnings to leave the facility or they would be arrested. He said some of the protesters left, but eight adults and four children remained, passing out fliers that stated they had already been arrested.
“It appears this group showed up today with the intent of being arrested by our department in regards to their protest of the activity taking place at the Providence Medical Pavilion,” Chandler explained.
After being given additional warnings, Captain Chandler said police arrested eight adults on trespassing charges, four of which were also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The four children, all in their early teens, were charged with trespassing and issued juvenile citations, he added.
Police said peaceful, anti-abortion demonstrations have previously taken place outside of the medical building, but this was the first time the protesters had entered the facility and refused to leave.