Suspect Arrested During Nashville Riots Says He ‘Did Not Do What They Said,’ Lives Now in Tennessee, Not Texas


Nashville Police listed three of the 28 people they arrested during last Saturday’s riots as living out-of-state.

Pierceson Harris, 27, of Arlington, Texas was, according to police records, one of those three people. Police charged him with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to the Nashville Police Department’s website.

Harris confirmed the police arrested him, but he also told The Tennessee Star he has lived in Nashville for the past year and a half.

Harris said he has no ties to ANTIFA.

“I would definitely like to get into my case [with you]. I just want to check with my attorney first so I don’t mess anything up. No, I did not do any of what they said. I just found out today what I was alleged to have been doing during the protest,” Harris said.

“Honestly, the whole thing is not true in any respect or any regard. But I would love to give you my side of the story, if I am able to.”

Harris later told us that, no, he did not wish to comment at this time.

Harris identified his attorney as Dawn Deaner of the Nashville-based Choosing Justice Initiative.

Deaner did not return The Star’s requests for comment Wednesday.

According to the CJI’s website, members of the group work “to end wealth-based disparities in Nashville’s criminal legal system through education, advocacy, and direct legal representation.”

“We are not about giving charity — we are about pursuing justice. We offer agency to people living in poverty who know what justice is; who want to be heard; and who have a right to be treated fairly and equitably in our courts,” according to CJI’s website.

“By acting in solidarity with those experiencing injustice, we are building new models of justice that solve problems, provide healing, enable equitable treatment and empower people with choices beyond the status quo.”

Deaner, a former Nashville public defender, founded the organization in 2018, the website said.

“In this age of mass criminalization and incarceration, our need for efficiency has caused us to operate courtrooms like conveyor belts, where people are still judged too often by how they look instead of who they are,” according to the group’s website.

“CJI recognizes that justice requires equity, and equity requires consideration for the individual. As such, CJI works to identify and eliminate mass injustice where it exists.”

As reported, several thousand protestors descended upon Nashville’s Legislative Plaza Saturday on behalf of George Floyd. Many of the protestors carried signs demanding government either defund or abolish the police. The crowd, composed of whites and blacks, chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” many times over.

Later in the day, and after Saturday’s rally, protestors resorted to violence — by trashing the Metro Courthouse and, later, parts of lower Broadway.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Pierceson Harris” by Pierceson Harris. 







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