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|GRACELAND TOURISTS REACT TO BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST
July 13, 2016 - by: Kristin Leigh FOX13 / Elvis Express Radio
|Tourists at Elvis Presley’s Graceland watched as police handcuffed and detained protesters during a Black Lives Matter march Tuesday.
Protesters blocked traffic for less than 15 minutes during a protest in front of the mansion on Elvis Presley Blvd.
>> Black Lives Matter protesters gather outside Graceland
Stephanie Dehner said she wanted her children to observe what has become a national conversation about police and community relations.
“Police cars were just stopping. We had to turn off in a subdivision,” Dehner said. “My husband said, let's turn around, let's forget it. I said no, let's get the kids out of the car. Let's
Dehner and her family were on their way home to Missouri and decided to stop at Graceland for the world-famous tour of the home. She explained why she wanted her kids to see
“Just so that they know what's going on and understand and have a feel for the impact and how important it is,” Dehner told FOX13. “We live in mid-Missouri where not a lot of
anything goes on, so it’s good to get down here.”
>> PHOTOS: Protesters gather outside Graceland, some being detained by police
Protesters told FOX13 they strategically picked one of the city’s top tourist attractions to grasp attention.
“We feel like Graceland would get the attention of the City of Memphis to let them know that we mean business,” Antonio Blair, a protester, said. “First it's the bridge, now it's
Graceland. What's next?”
The protest was organized after Memphis residents grew frustrated at a meeting with city leaders Monday night in Raleigh. The meeting was organized after protesters shut down
the I-40 Bridge in Downtown Memphis Sunday.
City leaders promised to sit down with protesters and discuss community relations with police.
“They said they were there to listen to us, (but) they didn't listen to us,” Blair said. “They did 90 percent of the talking. We did 10 percent of the talking. If we can do 90 percent of
the talking, and they do 10 percent of the listening, the city would be a better place.”
The protest at Graceland was peaceful. No one was injured, and nothing was vandalized. Six people received citations for blocking the road.