Protest Leaders Mott, Williams Face 2 Sets Of Charges On Sunday, Including Stealing Flag And Burning It

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The two leaders of the ongoing nightly protests in Chattanooga were arrested on two different sets of charges on Sunday.
Marie Mott and Cameron Williams were charged by Chattanooga Police with obstructing an intersection and blocking an emergency vehicle.
Later in the day, they were charged by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in connection with taking the Sheriff's flag from the county jail and burning it at Miller Park.
Chattanooga Police on Sunday morning said they had obtained warrants for multiple protesters, including Ms.
Mott and Williams, "who engaged in illegal and dangerous activity" on Friday at or near the intersection of Market and East Main Streets.
Police said the protesters blocked an emergency vehicle attempting to get to an active call for a vehicle crash with injuries. 


The Chattanooga Police Department obtained warrants for Ms. Mott, 32, Williams, 35, Grason Harvey, 22, and Lindsey Baker, 33, for blocking an emergency vehicle en route to an active call for service.


Each face charges of disorderly conduct and blocking a highway.


As more involved persons are identified additional warrants and charges will be issued as the investigation continues, police said.


“CPD has had numerous discussions with the protesters and officers have blocked streets in order for marches to take place as safely as possible since May 30,” said Chief David Roddy. “I am not blind to the issues being challenged, but I will not allow the protesters to endanger themselves, invoke fear in other community members, and impede emergency services to anyone in this city.”


The CPD asked Ms. Mott, Williams and the other two defendants to turn themselves in to the Hamilton County Jail. They did so on Sunday morning and still were in jail at late afternoon.


The Sheriff's Office on Sunday afternoon issued arrest warrants were issued for Ms. Mott, Williams and 19-year-old Gerald Crawley.


The Sheriff's Office said, "These arrest warrants are a result of an investigation conducted by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division into the flag burning incident that took place at Miller Park on Thursday.


Ms. Mott, Williams and Crawley were charged with theft under $1,000, vandalism under $1,000, reckless burning and inciting to riot.

Mott and Williams were already in custody on unrelated charges at the time the warrants were issued. Crawley remains at large.

This is an ongoing investigation as the Sheriff's Office attempts to identify others who were involved in the incident, it was stated.


The protest group issued this statement:


"In spite of a video release proving local protesters did not block emergency responders at Friday night’s protest, local protest leaders and other innocent protesters remain jailed as of 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

"Multiple sources from within Alleia restaurant confirmed Friday that while the owner, Chef Daniel Lindley, has avoided any conversation or involvement in the national movement for the betterment of Black and Brown lives and end to police brutality and overuse of force, one of his managers felt strongly about the issue. Multiple sources overheard that manager later bragging about the police call he made. 

"The Alleia manager made those calls during the Friday night protest in the intersection of Market and Main street. It is also unclear why the Chattanooga Police Department waited two days before issuing the warrants for the four protesters Sunday morning.

"Currently, multiple protesters from Friday night’s event remain in Hamilton County Jail after turning themselves in this morning. Local leaders Marie Mott and Cameron Williams are among those who turned themselves in on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking a highway.

“CPD and Hamilton County Sheriff Officers are racist, and they are trying to weaponize the jail system to bully protesters … during a pandemic,” Williams said in a Facebook Live video prior to turning himself in. 

“So you’re telling me blocking a road instills fear in the community?” Mott asked in her own Facebook Live video this morning. “... I hope you guys see that this is just them making an example of us. … I hope this just proves exactly what we have been saying all along: Within their department there is no accountability.”

"Video footage provided by other attending protesters showing the passing of two fire trucks safely was posted to local movement organization ICantBreatheCHA this morning via Instagram.

"Multiple attempts to text and call Lindley, Alleia’s owner, for an explanation, have gone unanswered."

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