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Arrest warrant issued for man accused of threatening Shelby County commissioner

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 9:46 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An arrest warrant is out for the man accused of harassing Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer.

Sawyer says an arrest warrant for George Johnson was issued three days after he allegedly threatened her.

Now, State Representative Antonio Parkinson has a message to all the black men in the community.

“We have one job and one job only and that job is to protect the women and the children,” said Parkinson who is calling on the black men in Memphis to stand up to protect Sawyer.

Parkinson is concerned that the slow response by law enforcement and the district attorney’s office might put Sawyer’s life in danger. The call to action comes after Sawyer filed an intimidation complaint against the volunteer construction worker who working on site of the relocation of the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forest and his wife Tuesday.

Sawyer, who was a leader in the “Take Em Down 901″ movement, called a press conference that day at Health Sciences Park. However, Johnson constantly interrupted, calling her names and making what appears to be threats.

Since then, Sawyer says she’s gotten other threats, including a Facebook message where someone wrote “Hope you get yours.” Another message says “Watch your back.”

“These are threats against the black woman and it’s reprehensible,” said Parkinson. “It is cowardly. It’s bullying and it represents the cancerous sickness of racism that permeates our state and our country.”

Parkinson along with others, including City Councilman Martavius Jones and State Representative Joe Towns not only wants Johnson arrested, but they also want Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate and they’re calling on Congressman Steve Cohen to see if federal charges would be appropriate.

Sawyer took to Twitter Friday afternoon after she says District Attorney Amy Weirich issued the warrant for Johnson’s arrest.

“My family , friends, supporters and I had to kick up a lot of dust for this to happen. Three days, three press conferences, three visits to the police station,” she said.

Sawyer went on to say, “My safety is still at risk as the hornet’s nest is shaken. But I know there are many people, professional and not, watching out for me.”

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