2021 protesters face criminal hearing

By Mike Steely
Back in 2021, several people protesting the school shooting death of Anthony Thompson Jr. were charged with disrupting a Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission meeting. After almost three years the case may finally see a conclusion.
A hearing and motion date has been set for February 16 in Criminal Chancery Court for both incidents.
Charged with disrupting the commission meeting that April are Constance Every, Calvin Skinner, Mary Winter, Carrie Hopper, Gavin Guinn, Kevin Andrews and Aaron Valentine.
Every and Skinner are also charged with disrupting a city council meeting in May of that year.
The protesters, estimated to be 30 or more persons, assembled outside before both meetings and moved inside when the meetings began. A new 2021 Tennessee law, TN Code § 39-17-306 (2021) states: A person commits an offense if, with the intent to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering, the person substantially obstructs or interferes with the meeting, procession, or gathering by physical action or verbal utterance. A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.