MNPD arrests mime in downtown Nashville, strips clothing in 20-degree weather — Antonio Washington

51-year-old Antonio Washington was taken into custody Saturday morning in downtown Nashville after Metro Nashville Police said he was “obstructing a passageway” — which seems to be refuted by photos and videos from the scene. During the interaction, it was noted he was non-verbal and used a notepad to communicate with a large presence of officers who confronted him. Officers told him he could not be stationary or sit on the sidewalk and panhandle without a permit and that he would have to be in constant movement. He refused and communicated that he would not leave the edge of the sidewalk and dared them to arrest him. Officers then placed him into custody, but not before stripping clothing from his body in 20-degree weather, as officers wore winter coats. A statement from MNPD reads, in part, “The sweatshirt he was wearing needed to be temporarily taken off so other blankets underneath could be removed. It was quickly put back on.” The initial call came from Downtown Ambassadors, who believed him to have a knife, but it was only a lighter.