9 arrested as crowd protests against ICE

Crowd protests ICE, treatment of immigrants at 201 Poplar
Published: Apr. 4, 2018 at 2:14 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2018 at 6:18 AM CDT
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Protesters outside 201 Poplar (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Protesters outside 201 Poplar (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Seventy-five to 100 protesters lined Poplar Avenue on Tuesday afternoon to demonstrate against immigration detention, poverty, and other societal ills.

Some people dressed as ICE agents and prisoners, others carried signs that read "No prisons, No mas."

Police said when officers saw the crowd starting to cross Poplar Avenue causing traffic issues, officers gave many warnings to get out of the road.

Officers warned participants they were participating in an unauthorized event.

It eventually ended with seven people being arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway or passageway.

Manuel Duran, 42; Keedran Towner (Franklin), 31; Billy Stegall, 61; Spencer Kaaz, 22; Guadalupe Escobar, 25; Elizabeth Vega, 51; and Zyanya Cruz, 28, were all charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway/passageway.

Those arrests started as people started crossing Poplar.

Police also noted that some of the protesters were live on Facebook, saying they were going to take Poplar Avenue.

"They shut the street down," Atlanta protester Dena Egan said. "They blocked the street. We couldn't cross the street. People were just trying to express an opinion, a valid opinion."

After those events, officers found two women carrying a chain and jumping in the road. After denying officers' requests to leave the road, Ambra Cathey, 25, and Ashley Cathey, 29, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway/passageway.

Egan, who is in town for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., decided to get in a little protesting.

"Come out to participate in some of the activism, some of the issues that are going on here in Memphis," Egan said.

It was a show of force with state troopers on motorcycles showing up and enough law enforcement to put on a light show in broad daylight. The crowd dispersed after about an hour.

There was talk that protestors might try to get on the I-40 bridge again just like in July 2016. It got so big that state troopers in riot gear walked the protestors off the bridge.

This time, state troopers were at the ready and many waited under the bridge on the Bass Pro parking lot.

However, no one marched out onto the bridge Tuesday.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.