Greensward supporters hold protest at Memphis Zoo

Greensward supporters hold protest at Memphis Zoo
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police and Congressman Steve Cohen mediated a protest at the Memphis Zoo and Greensward.

Police said hundreds of protesters were lying down in the grassy area and refusing to move.

Click here to read all our coverage of the Greensward controversy.

Police said the protests were peaceful.

Some of the Greensward supporters made claims that the zoo were taking Easter eggs, meant for an Easter egg hunt at the Greensward, and throwing them in the trash.

"They put out Easter eggs beyond the area where they usually park cars. They sent zoo employees out to scoop them up and throw them away," Protestor Rodney Nash said.

However, the zoo said that's not true.

"The Zoo did not take any Easter eggs. This is one of a series of stunts planned for this holiday weekend to make the Zoo look like a bully - we are attending mediation and trying to work out a solution in the best interest of everyone."

Congressman Steve Cohen even tried to mediate the protest. He said the battle has gone too far.

"I've tried to remain in a way where I could negotiate with both parties and try to urge them and get together and meditations would resolve this eventually, but when I saw that, it was just too much," Cohen said.

Memphis Zoo CEO Chuck Brady said the city council approved the parking, so these measures are unnecessary.

"Disrupting parking and harassing families when they try to get out of their cars," Brady said.

Shamarr Johnson was visiting the zoo for the first time Saturday. He said his family was yelled at to turn away when he was parking.

"Terrifying not to know what's going on until you actually park," Johnson said. "It's a good cause, but the way they are doing it is not setting a good example."

Nash said there is more to come until a fair agreement is made.

"We all have our places where we have to draw the line," Nash said.

Cafe Eclectic has pulled out of the zoo's annual Zoo Rendezvous because of the Greensward issue. You can read their statement here.

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