Ooops. It appears laws were broken:
Public Works pulled all of the permits taken out for the Scientology event. The permits — all of them for sidewalk closing and lane blocking — are for the wrong day. They’re for the day before the event and expire before the scuffle occurred.
In addition, three of the five security guards were off-duty Spring Hill police officers working in Nashville, which can only be done if local police are notified and officers are wearing uniforms clearly identifying them as off-duty police officers.
“The armed people from the other county are not identified police officers,” said John M. L. Brown. “You’re looking for a problem.”
Brown, a Fraternal Order of Police attorney, has been defending police officers for 32 years. He said he finds the officers’ actions hard to defend.
“Nashville’s a capital city, and there are protests in Nashville with some frequency,” he said. “I don’t think that mentioning a bologna sandwich is a recognized law enforcement tactic.”
Scientology reps say “we bought all of these sidewalks” around their new 8th Avenue building.
Uh, no, you didn’t. Public sidewalks = public right-of-way. Watch the video:
According to protesters present at the event there were no permits granted to close the sidewalk on the 1000 block of 8th avenue south on the day of the protest and organizers said they spoke with members of public works and notifications in the Tennessean to confirm that the street closure for 8th avenue south was on the 24th and not on the 25th which was the schedule day of the protest and vigil. The protesters, who refer to themselves as ‘Nashville Anonymous’ said that it was not clear where the security officers came from who confronted them on the day of their scheduled public protest and that in a year of previous peaceful protests they had never been the victims of aggressive behavior, threats or unlawful detainment on the part of metro police or Vanderbilt which has a security agreement with Metro for the area of Music Row where the Scientology Center used to be located.
You know, far be it from me to tell anyone what religion they want to follow. But here’s a tip: if you’re a controversial religious group trying to ingratiate yourself into a buckle-of-the-Bible Belt town, it might help if your security didn’t act like a bunch of goons.
Scientology’s entrance into Nashville is not off to an auspicious start.