Ryman Auditorium Among Businesses Vandalized During Nashville Protests
Metro Nashville Police say 30 businesses were vandalized on Saturday night (May 30) after protests turned violent in downtown Nashville. The historic Ryman Auditorium is one of the buildings that vandals hit.
The Mother Church of Country Music had a window broken on the northwest corner of the building, near the "Birth of Bluegrass" historical placard. Other Lower Broadway bars and honky-tonks, including the Wildhorse Saloon, Cotton-Eyed Joe's and Layla's, also suffered damage.
Several business reported thefts after crowds left the area, and at least one had merchandise tossed about by intruders who accessed businesses before police enforced a 10PM curfew.
Protests started peacefully earlier in the day. Crowds gathered to bring awareness to and solicit change after numerous cases of police brutality against people of color in America. The latest high-profile case came on May 25, when 46-year-old George Floyd died after being pinned down by his neck for more than eight minutes by a Minneapolis police officer.
Nashville's courthouse and city hall were also hit by vandals. WKRN in Nashville reports that other businesses affected include Boot Barn, Redneck Riviera and the Stage. Strict curfews were put in place for downtown Nashville on Sunday and Monday nights (May 31-June 1) as well, with anyone not going to or coming from work subject to arrest.
Many country music stars got their start at the bars in the famed Lower Broadway district. A number of the businesses affected had recently reopened after being shuttered due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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