Armed man booked on misdemeanors at protest confrontation
Published 8:34 am Tuesday, June 23, 2020
(AP) — Authorities in Mississippi say a man armed with a rifle and a handgun was arrested on misdemeanor charges after he confronted participants at a weekend protest at a Confederate monument.
Columbus police Chief Fred Shelton told The Dispatch that the man faces charges of public drunkenness and disturbing the peace after the Saturday confrontation at the Lowndes County Courthouse.
He identified the man as Teddy Billingsley, 61, of Columbus.
Saturday’s protest came days after the Lowndes County Supervisors voted along racial lines against removing the monument.
A witness told the newspaper that the suspect used racial slurs before being moved away by police. “It looked like he was trying to provoke people so he could start shooting,” said Ricky Butler, one of the protesters.
Billingsley did not appear in online booking records and it was unclear whether he had an attorney who would comment on his behalf.