Fights, arrests during Memphis protest at Confederate monument

(Courtesy: WATN)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WATN) – At least six people were arrested during a rally at the monument of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest Saturday.

The rally was organized by a group called Memphians for Removal of Confederate Statues #takeemdown901, created to remove all confederate statues in Memphis.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of UT Health and Sciences Park to express their frustration.

“Today I’m asking the Mayor can you please stop hiding behind the state of Tennessee and take action,” said one protester using a megaphone.

As the crowd grew, more protest signs surrounded the statue.

“This statue represents slavery, represents hatred, rape, murder, splitting families up. This is not anything that should be in Memphis” said Yoni Zeigler

About 30 minutes into the rally, a group of people tried to cover the monument with a sheet.

Rally organizer Tami Sawyer yelled out to the crowd, “If you’re here to stand against racial injustice even after these statues come down, can I get a hell yeah?”  The protesters yelled back, “Hell yeah”

After a second attempt to cover the monument, police moved in and the situation grew tense.

An angry crowd watched as 6 protesters were handcuffed and taken away in police cars. It was not clear what charges they might face.

“It’s clear the Memphis Police Department does not protect or serve the people of Memphis,” said Dr. Simone Thomas. “They’re doing a lot to protect the statue but I’ve seen them endanger people I did not see one of them in this moment protect a citizen of Memphis.”