NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- The mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, has declared a state of civil emergency after protesters set a fire inside the Metro Courthouse in the state's capital city.
Thousands had rallied near the Capitol building Saturday afternoon to peacefully protest police brutality and racism. But things turned violent after darkness fell, with protesters breaking windows in government buildings and causing other property damage.
The Tennessean newspaper says demonstrators also pulled down a statue outside the Capitol of Edward Carmack, a controversial former lawmaker and newspaper publisher who espoused racist views.
Police deployed tear gas and began warning demonstrators that the protest was unlawful.
Gov. Bill Lee issued an order Saturday night for the National Guard to mobilize "in response to protests that have now taken a violent, unlawful turn in Nashville."