MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Some of the protestors might have been gearing up for a fight Saturday in Murfreesboro.
Police found several items before and after the planned rally that were hidden around the courthouse and could have been used as weapons.
Joint law enforcement agencies did a sweep of the perimeter of the Rutherford County courthouse prior to the scheduled white nationalist rally on Saturday. Among them, they found hammers, bricks, and a chemical spray jug.
After the rally was cancelled, police found even more hidden items, including more hammers, a bicycle lock, and a rubber-covered concrete mallet.
“Although it is unknown who these items belonged to, law enforcement suspect individuals were placing items in concealed locations,” said Murfreesboro city spokesman Mike Browning. “Clearly, they are items that could be used as weapons and needed to be removed prior to the event.”
The La Vergne SWAT Team was one of the agencies assisting Murfreesboro police and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
They are thankful the rally was cancelled and they didn’t have to use their training, especially after so many potentially dangerous items were found that could have been used to hurt someone.
“We had actually gotten reports that there were bottles of urine and balloons filled with feces being placed, you know a day or two in advance, and I know MPD and the THP done extensive sweeps and found those items and were picking them up, removing trash cans, anything that could be ripped off a building and used as a weapon,” La Vergne SWAT Lt. Konrad Kaul said.
La Vergne SWAT also spent the evening on Middle Tennessee State University’s campus after rumors of a Nazi torch march spread on social media.
“La Vergne tactical team had went to MTSU and had worked there along with Rutherford County sheriff’s mounted patrol, and also that night, there were officers from Tennessee Tech, Cookeville and TSU,” Kaul said.
Two weeks before the planned rally, the La Vergne SWAT team held training exercises to prepare for any situation that may face.
“From a law enforcement standpoint, fire, and EMS, we had prepared for the worst situation,” Kaul told News 2.
Police said all the items they found were disposed of. Since they don’t know who placed them near the courthouse, the case will not be pursued.