Protests escalate overnight as businesses get vandalized in Memphis

WARNING: Videos could contain graphic language/content
Updated: Jun. 1, 2020 at 1:31 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Peaceful protests escalated overnight in Memphis. The National Guard was deployed and tear gas was used to disperse a crowd.

Click here to watch Mayor Strickland and Director Rallings give briefing on Memphis protests

Windows have been smashed at Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar on Main Street in Downtown Memphis. We’ve reached out to the restaurant for comment, but have not heard back at this time.

Flight Restaurant damaged during Memphis protests
Flight Restaurant damaged during Memphis protests(Source: WMC)

Winfield’s Shoes, a black-owned business, was vandalized overnight. We tried to speak with the store owner, but he did not want to go on camera.

Here is the moment that protesters smashed the storefront window at Winfield’s Shoes on Main in downtown Memphis. Another protester who witnessed this angrily pointed out that this is a black-owned business.

Posted by Brandon Richard on Sunday, May 31, 2020

He said he hasn’t fully reopened since the COVID-19 pandemic began. He lives nearby and heard his business being broken into.

Walgreens on Madison Avenue in Downtown Memphis was also vandalized during the protests. The assistant manager came in for their morning shift and began sweeping up broken glass.

Memphis police are also investigating at the Mid-America Pawn at Park Avenue and Highland Street.

WMC Action News 5 noticed someone shattered the glass doors of this business. The shop owner says the building was shot at, but nothing appears to be stolen.

Police dispatch told us this happened early Monday morning.

MPD told us they are also heavily patrolling the Oak Court Mall and Target on Colonial Road.

For the fifth night in a row, peaceful protesters came out over the murder of George Floyd, asking for justice for him, and others who’ve been victims of police violence.

The crowd began their walk on Main Street toward Beale Street. Some people in the group split off. One portion went toward the bridge to Arkansas while the other stayed behind.

The organizer of the original protests encouraged people to go home after that the group split. The group that split off attempted to walk on the bridge but were stopped by police.

After a standoff with police, they eventually made their way back to the National Civil Rights Museum. That’s when tensions seemed to rise further.

Police sprayed tear gas on the crowd. After that groups seemed to scatter all around downtown. Officers arrested another group who were sitting in their cars, we’re not sure why.

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