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 downtown in Nashville. The historic Ryman Auditorium is one of the buildings that vandals hit.
The live music institution 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, like the Wild Horse Saloon, Cotton Eyed Joes and Laylas, 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 persons of color in America. The latest high profile case came last Monday (May 25) when 46-year-old George Floyd was pinned down for more than 8 minutes by a Minneapolis police officer. Floyd died.
Nashville's courthouse and city hall were also hit by vandals. WKRN in Nashville reports that other businesses affected were Boot Barn, Redneck Riviera and the Stage. Strict curfews were put in place for downtown Nashville on Sunday and Monday nights as well, with anyone not going to or coming from work subject to arrest.
Nashville is the home of country music, with many stars getting their start along the famed Lower Broadway district. Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett and Kane Brown are among those who've taken to social media to express anger about Floyd's death and racial injustice in America.
Many of the businesses affected had recently re-opened after being shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.
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