COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — A man is facing charges after a protest in Collierville’s Town Square park escalated as protesters called for the removal of a Confederate monument Monday.
It all started when a man walked up to the monument protesters and started yelled “you can’t erase history” several times.
One of the protesters asked the man to get out of her face and that’s when the man yelled: “Your face? I think you are in my park. This is Collierville, Tennessee.”
Collierville police told the man to walk away but a few minutes later he was put in handcuffs after police said he hit a woman’s phone out of her hand.
Warren McDearman is charged with disorderly conduct and simple assault.
According to the police report, the incident happened “in the presence of multiple CPD officers at the protest.”
Officers said McDearman was “leaving the protest area when Frances Marable put her cell phone up in McDearman’s face.” They said he slapped the phone out of her hand and was “observed to be belligerent on scene and disrupting the tranquility of the area.”
“They are always worried about who is coming to protest, that we are agitators. No, anybody who was here today saw where the agitators were,” said Frances Marable.
Marable told FOX13 she was the woman who had the phone knocked out of her hand and said she plans on pressing charges.
She said she won’t let this intimidation stop her and will continue to protest until the monument, delivered by the Daughters of the Confederacy is removed.
“History goes in books, this is white supremacy. This isn’t history if this was history the whole park would be full of markers wouldn’t it,” said Marable.
Other conversations were more productive. Two people with different opinions discussed their differences about the monument.
“She was the only one, even though she was feeling very emotional. She had the courage to come up and sit and talk and none of the other counter-protesters did that,” said a protester named Emily.
Protesters said they will show up until they see change.
“Things are not okay, we have big problems and we don’t fix it and this is not ending. This is not going to end,” said Marable.
Protest organizer LJ Abraham said she doesn’t want the monument destroyed she just wants it moved somewhere else to a Confederate gravesite or museum.
“They should not feel intimidated or threatened by anything that we are doing because we are having a peaceful protest, we are sitting down,” said Abraham.
Others argued that the monument should stay in the park.
“There could be a better name for it, maybe the memorial monument to preserve the history of the things that happened here. I’m okay with that,” said Mark Mcminn.
About two weeks ago protesters signed up to speak at the mayor and board of alderman meeting in Collierville. Several of them asked for leaders to take the statue down.
When FOX13 spoke to Mayor Stan Joyner, he said he wanted to keep the monument in the park.
He said even if he wanted to, he can’t remove the monument because its protected by the Tennessee Heritage Act.
The mayor wasn’t available to speak Monday, but a spokesperson said his opinion has not changed.