Clarksville comes together for racial equality, justice

Clarksville Protest

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — A couple hundred Clarksville residents joined together with local government officials at One Millennium Plaza to protest the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and others who died by the hands of injustice.

“People don’t value our lives. It’s on a mass scale. Stop killing us, and then listen long enough to hear our pleas and our cries for justice and inequality,” said Jherica Johnson of Clarksville. “We’re tired of justice being served for the black lives that have been murdered at the hands of the police.”

Jherica Johnson stands on a bench protesting racial inequality at One Millenium Plaza in Clarksville, Tennessee, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Photo by Tip Campbell)

City Councilman, Ward 1 Richard “Reason” Garrett, attended told protestors about an upcoming forum with city and county leaders and law enforcement officials to help them better understand the frustrations of residents.

Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett came out to talk to protestors, as well. Durrett answered questions from the group. One attendee asked if law enforcement here in Clarksville are trained with handling suspects or how to avoid aggressively handling suspects.

Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett answers questions from those in attendance at Tuesday’s rally for racial justice at One Millennium Plaza, in Clarksville, Tennessee, June 2, 2020.
(Photo by Tip Campbell)

“I’ve heard that, yes, they do have that special training.” Durrett said.

He also pledged on the record to implement such a program if one is not already in place. He said he would advocate on behalf of county residents to make sure that what happened with George Floyd. He added that he has full confidence in Sheriff John Fuson and staff, along with the way they train their employees and deputies.

Durrett told protestors that he feels Trump is fueling the flames on social media.

“All the banter, all the tweeting, all of that stuff, that’s just not who I am. I think you should be more of a solution than a problem. I think that’s pouring gas on a fire. And, I don’t think we need to be doing that right now, ” Durrett said.

Clarksville Councilman for Ward 8 David Allen talks with a group of protesters at One Millennium Plaza, in Clarksville, Tennessee, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Photo by Tip Campbell)

Montgomery County Diversity and Training Officer Michelle Lowe handed out cards and asked attendees to contact her if incidents occur. She pledged to find a way for young people to find a way to let out their anger before it turns to rage.

“If you benefit from the hatred and the bigotry, then you’re guilty. I’m glad to see people come out and say, “Enough is enough.”” Lowe said.

Willow (left), Madison (center) and Justin Snyder (right) show their support at the protest downtown at One Millennium Plaza, in Clarksville, Tennessee, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Photo by Tip Campbell)

Sitting on the courthouse steps, Orlandes Stegall, said the police here do a great job. Stegall, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, works for the Clarksville Housing Department.

Orlandes Stegall holds protest signs to support racial equality on the county courthouse steps at One Millennium Plaza, in Clarksville, Tennessee, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Photo by Tip Campbell)

“The police here are welcoming. I see them in my communities in the projects of Lincoln Homes and Summit Heights interacting with the kids and playing basketball with them. So, the police here and the people here are, as a whole, united,” Stegall said. “This [Clarksville-Montgomery County] should be a blueprint for America.”

The protest was organized by the Clarksville chapter of the Congregations for Racial Reconciliation.

Tip Campbell

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One Thought to “Clarksville comes together for racial equality, justice”

  1. Jerry

    Racial inequality in Clarksville is a dog whistle. It’s not as prevalent as it’s made out to be. This is a tool to divide the country and citizens. Wake up America.

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