Deputies stun meeting participants by arresting activist David Hayes | #schoolshooting

Activist and former Knoxville City Council candidate David Hayes was arrested Friday afternoon at a public meeting called to solicit community input on the city’s search for a new police chief.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies confronted Hayes just outside the City-Council Building meeting room and took him into custody. When Hayes refused to walk with the deputies, they carried him, handcuffed, by his arms and legs through the building to a detention room as onlookers took videos.

“I was right there outside of the meeting room and saw David talking to a deputy,” community activist Tyler Givens told Knox News. “The deputy then put his hand on him. I saw no struggle. Next thing you know he was on the ground and they were arresting him.”

Sheriff’s Office officials could not be reached for comment, and county offices were closed Friday because of inclement weather. Kimberly Glenn, spokesperson for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, did not return a phone message or an email. 

The city is hosting a series of listening sessions “to gather input to help guide the search for the next KPD chief” after Chief Eve Thomas announced she will retire in May.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said she was not given a heads-up about the arrest. 

“I had no idea that it was happening. I had no idea that he was going to be arrested. I didn’t hear about it until after it had already happened,” she told Knox News. 

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