MEMPHIS, Tennessee —
Whether it was something in the air or the water, bad behavior was certainly on display in Memphis this weekend.
One incident involved protesters who were out of bounds. And the other involved teenagers out of control. The protesters, numbering about two dozen, showed up at the Criminal Justice Center at 201 Poplar Saturday morning – to push for reduced funding for local law enforcement. Organizers said their protest was aimed at the Shelby County Commission. If so, they were at the wrong place anyway.Things got hectic when protesters tried to enter the CJC – and sheriff’s deputies used pepper spray to keep them out.
But a more disturbing incident occurred later Saturday – when young people were captured on video vandalizing the Putt-Putt Golf and Games on Summer Avenue. They were among an estimated 300 to 400 teenagers who had been dropped off there – in clear violation of crowd restrictions because of COVID-19. The viral video shows teens damaging and throwing PlexiGlass shields and anything else they could get their hands on.
In both incidents, there is enough blame to go around. But clearly the protesters were wrong for trying to breach a secured building. And the teenagers? What can I say? Their behavior was outrageous. And their parents were irresponsible.
We’re struggling to fight a deadly pandemic, folks. The last thing we need are thoughtless kids and adults – making matters worse.
And that’s my point of view. I’m Otis Sanford, for Local 24 News.