Law Enforcement Secure Public Square in Interest of Safety


“For safety reasons, backpacks, purses and other bags will not be allowed into the rally Saturday in downtown Murfreesboro,” said Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh and Murfreesboro Interim Police Chief Michael Bowen.
“To ensure everyone’s safety, many items will be prohibited from the area,” Fitzhugh and Bowen said in a joint statement. “We will require everyone to comply with the restrictions. We are committed to taking precautions to keep the area secure.”

No person, other than authorized law enforcement and public safety personnel, will be allowed to have any weapons or items capable of being used as weapons within a one-block radius of Public Square. Law enforcement will be using hand-held magnetometers (metal detectors) to screen everyone wanting to enter this area. Any person attempting to enter this area with a prohibited item will be turned away and required to discard the item or store it in a vehicle before being rescreened.

People are asked to review the prohibited items ahead of time.

· Aerosol cans, spray cans and pressurized canisters;

· Air horns and similar noise-making devices;

· Alcohol;

· Ammunition;

· Axes, ax handles and hatchets;

· Balloons;

· Baseball and softball bats;

· Batons and clubs;

· Bicycles;

· Bicycle locks, including U-Lock bike locks;

· Biological agents or biohazards;

· Blades and bladed items, including knives, daggers, swords and razor blades;

· Bolts;

· Bows and arrows;

· Bricks;

· Coolers;

· Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems;

· Eggs;

· Explosives;

· Firearms, including licensed concealed or open-carry firearms;

· Fireworks;

· Gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid;

· Glass bottles;

· Glass, thermal or metal containers;

· Hazardous chemical agents (including bio toxins, blister agents/vesicants, blood agents, caustics/acids, pulmonary agents, incapacitating agents, nerve agents, riot control agents/tear gas, organic solvents, metallic or other poisons;

· Heavy gauge chains;

· Ice picks;

· Laser pointers;

· Lengths of lumber or wood;

· Liquids, including water;

· Metal beverage or food cans or containers;

· Metal or PVC pipes;

· Metal nuts;

· Packages that are sealed/unopened or whose contents cannot be readily determined by law enforcement;

· Pepper spray, mace and similar substances;

· Poles;

· Rocks;

· Rolled coins;

· Selfie sticks;

· Shields;

· Signs not constructed solely of foam core, cardboard or paper;

· Skateboards;

· Spears;

· Sticks and staffs;

· Tasers and stun guns;

· Tent/canopy poles or stakes;

· Torches, lanterns or any other devices that use fire or fuel;

· Toy or replica weapons;

· Tripods for cameras or video cameras;

· Umbrellas;

· Wagons/carts;

· Wooden dowels; and

· Any other item, which in the assessment of law enforcement could be used as a weapon or otherwise presents an unreasonable risk to public safety. Other prohibited items include:

· Helmets;

· Bullet-proof vests and other protective vests/body armor;

· Masks of any kind (including gas masks and costume masks);

· Tents or canopies.

No animals will be permitted except for working service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Acts. Law enforcement officers may remove the service animal if determined to be a significant risk to the safety of others.

Organizers of the League’s event will be allowed to bring one electronic sound-amplification device and related equipment. No other electronic sound equipment will be permitted.

Signs, banners and flags will be permitted but without the use of handles, poles, rods, rope or any other similar item to eliminate the potential for using such items as weapons.

Individuals with mobility disabilities will be permitted to use manually-powered wheelchairs and other manually-powered mobility aids such as walkers, crutches and canes unless law enforcement determines the presence of the device presents a significant and unreasonable risk to the safety of others.

Individuals with motorized wheelchairs may be allowed after law enforcement officers inspect the wheelchair and determine it does not present a significant and unreasonable risk to the safety of others.

No automobiles, trucks, motorcycles or other motorized vehicles will be allowed within the restricted area except law enforcement and other public safety vehicles.

Vehicles parked within the downtown area after 3 a.m. Saturday will be towed at the owner’s expense. In addition, no vehicles may be parked between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday on the following streets:

· Vine Street between South Walnut Street and South Academy Street;

· College Street between North Walnut Street and North Spring Street;

· Walnut Street between West Vine Street and West College Street;

· Spring Street between East Sevier Street and East College Street and

· Tommy Martin Drive.

Vehicles parked on any of these streets between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. will be towed at the owner’s expense.

For safety reasons, officers will close the downtown Square to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic at 3 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Counterdemonstrators will be permitted to enter Public Square via South Church Street and South Maple Street only. Officers will search everyone in the vicinity of the rally site.

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