City Council changes permit application for protests, looks at Beale St. crowd control

City Council changes permit application for protests, looks at Beale St. crowd control

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A controversial proposal regarding public events and rallies has been passed by Memphis City Council.

Councilors formally approved an ordinance which would require organizers of public events (including protests) to apply for a permit at least 90 days beforehand and reaffirms the power of MPD to cancel any permit.

Opponents, who allege the ordinance infringes on free speech and assembly rights, said the proposal affirms police authority to arrest protesters.

Memphis City Council also approved to have a crowd control consultant make recommendations on ways to reduce overcrowding on Beale Street.

The $50,000 contract with Event Risk Management Solutions could steer the council as it decides whether to resurrect a Beale Street cover charge or voucher program.

The first draft of the study will be given to the council by March 19.

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