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7 arrested for disrupting Knox Co. Commission meeting ‘no longer welcome to be on property of City/County Building’

Seven people were arrested Monday for disrupting a Knox County Commission meeting.
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 8:30 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 1:14 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Seven people were arrested for disrupting a Knox County Commission meeting on Monday, April 19.

Those protests were regarding the ongoing desire and demand to see the body camera footage in the shooting at Austin-East which killed 17-year-old Anthony Thmopson Jr. and injured Officer Adam Willson.

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Posted by WVLT on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, those who disrupt the commission meeting or procession receive a Class B misdemeanor.

The Sheriff’s Office said Constance Every led a group of nearly 30 individuals into the auditorium and used a bullhorn to sound a siren which interrupted the meeting. The Knox County Commission went into recess while officers worked to gain control of the crowd, according to KCSO reports.

Every announced, the “county commission meeting is over now,” an incident report stated.

The Sheriff’s Office said Mary Winter, Carrie Hopper, Gavin Guinn, Kevin Andrews, Calvin Skinner and Aaron Valentine yelled and encouraged others to do the same.

The seven individuals were detained. Each person spoke with officials and were notified that they are, “no longer welcome to be on the property of the City/County Building unless explicitly invited for a specific date and time.”

The commission meeting had the following notice upon entering:

“Disrupting meeting or procession-a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to prevent or gathering, the person substantially obstructs or interferes with the meeting, procession, or gathering by physical action or verbal utterance. b) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.”

After a ten-minute recess, Chairmen Larsen Jay addressed what happened saying that none of the people arrested signed up for public forum and that interrupting a meeting to address the county commission “would not be tolerated.”

The crowd of over two dozen was heard chanting “no justice no peace” through the halls of the city-county building before they were eventually escorted out. At that point, the county commission meeting resumed as scheduled with no further incident.

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