Metro Nashville officials announced May 31 that at least 30 business and buildings in downtown were damaged during the protests on May 30, including the historic Metro Courthouse, the Ryman Auditorium and several businesses on Broadway. Cooper said one arrest has already been made in connection with fires set at the courthouse and the city is working to identify others that broke windows and vandalized buildings.
“We will not let their behavior distract us from the work that we must do for equal justice for Nashville’s black community,” Cooper said.
During the June 1 press briefing, Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson estimated about 90% of people downtown were protesting the death of George Floyd were doing so peacefully.
"I want to thank all the Nashvillians who came downtown to peacefully protest and make their voices heard,” Anderson said. “More than 90% by estimate were peaceful and there to demonstrate their concern and they should have the right to do that without a criminal element [infiltrating] their rights. I also want to say that this police department joins in with all others across the nation in condemning the acts of what occurred in Minneapolis. And not just the officer with the knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd, the officers that stood by and watched also. We look forward to working with our community to resolve this situation and we look forward to providing protection and facilitation as people peacefully protest and express their concerns in the future."
Officials with MNPD said they are working with the community as well as state and local agencies to plan for any future protests being organized.
“I want to thank the members of our community for their cooperation; law enforcement is not just a police effort, it’s a community effort,” Anderson said. “So please anyone with additional information, please contact us.”