- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Protesters blocked Memphis Zoo visitors from parking on a greensward near the park before reaching a compromise.

The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/1WSosiL ) reports that police negotiated with protesters outside the zoo on Saturday to allow vehicles to park on about a third of the lawn of Overton Park. No arrests were made.

Memphis Police Maj. Dana Sampietro spoke with protest leaders to reach the compromise.

Protester Bill Stegall also encouraged the crowd to accept the compromise and avoid a misdemeanor arrest.

“Now, if we don’t do this, then some of us are going to have to accept a misdemeanor arrest,” he said as he addressed protesters. “Now that’s a serious thing.”

Most protesters agreed to the compromise, but some of them booed zoo-goers as their cars proceeded onto the lawn.

Stegall encouraged the protesters to return next weekend.

“We appreciate and we understand where you are coming from,” Sampietro told protesters. “We absolutely do.”

Zoo officials expanded zoo parking to cover most of the lawn on high-visitation days after receiving the backing from the Memphis City Council.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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