NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Metro Health has launched an investigation into an event held in Nashville on Sunday.
Video posted on Twitter by Sean Feucht shows a large crowd of people gathered in front of the Metro Courthouse. Feucht wrote on Twitter that a police officer escorted him out and he estimated "9,000-10,000 worshippers" were there.
Metro Health Spokesman Brian Todd said the event organizer organizer did not submit an application to the Health Department or permit application to any Metro department.
"We have worked very hard to slow the spread of COVID by taking a measured approach to protect the community," Todd said in an email. "The Health Department is very concerned by the actions that took place at the event and we are investigating and will pursue appropriate penalties against the organizer."
One attendee—who asked only to be called by her first name, Natasha—told FOX 17 News the event "Let Us Worship" was a "beautiful, peaceful night."
"Last night, it was absolutely a place where none of that existed," Natasha said in an interview. "It was a place of unity. A place of one voice. A place of love, a place of peace, a place for everybody to come who have struggled with these topics that have been happening."
Chief John Drake today issued the following statement on Monday:
“At a time when Nashville has been making real progress at controlling the spread of the coronavirus, I am greatly disappointed that the organizer of Sunday’s event and those in attendance did not better prioritize their health and the health of others through social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. Personal responsibility is a necessity regardless of the purpose for a public event.
The organizers of Sunday’s religious event did not have any advance communication with the MNPD, and the police department was not present. Going forward, the police department will work with its Metro government partners, including the Health Department, to more effectively facilitate proactive contact with any future event organizers to explain Nashville’s public health and safety expectations. We are also reviewing Sunday’s event along with the Metro Health Department.”
"This was a very peaceful event," Natasha said. "There was no police that needed to be there. We were respectful of one another and we truly put God first ."
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