The Metro Nashville Police Department announced a “significant arrest” Wednesday night in connection to the May 30 riots outside the Metro Courthouse.
According to a press release, authorities have arrested 33-year-old Ryan Keith Ray on eight criminal charges. Ray has been charged with inciting a riot, arson, two counts of burglary, and four counts of felony vandalism.
In camera footage obtained by the Metro Nashville Police Department, Ray can be seen urging protesters to head to Broadway to “tear s–t up” after protesters were dispersed from the Metro Courthouse area.
Additional video footage shows Ray burglarizing Big Time Boots at 410 Broadway and setting boot boxes on fire inside the business. He was also recorded while burglarizing Margaritaville at 322 Broadway, destroying property inside, and stealing merchandise and alcohol.
Yet another video shows Ray damaging two vehicles belonging to separate citizens in the 500 block of Church Street, the police department said.
A significant arrest Wed night concerning the 5/30 unrest & destruction downtown. Ryan Keith Ray, 33, is charged with inciting a riot, arson, burglary x 2, & felony vandalism x 4. He is accused of breaking into Big Time Boots (fire set) & Margaritaville, both on Broadway. pic.twitter.com/NTkwaPxnrX
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) July 2, 2020
At least four others have been arrested in connection to the May 30 unrest, The Tennessee Star reported.
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said last week that the Department of Justice is conducting roughly 500 investigations into acts of arson and vandalism across the country.
“We’ve had scores of indictments so far for such things as arson, destruction of federal property,” said Barr. “We have right now about 500 investigations underway, so it’s picking up pace. We are committed to holding accountable the people who engaged in this.”
The nationwide rioting began in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where at least 10 individuals are facing various criminal charges in connection to the riots, including one St. Paul man who was charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at police officers.
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