Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect new information from Nashville authorities.
In a matter of three hours, Nashville authorities issued but then withdrew criminal charges against two prominent Nashville activists on Thursday afternoon.
Police and the city’s top prosecutor, District Attorney Glenn Funk, say they’re acting on “additional information from last Saturday, some of which was just received this afternoon.”
Neither office detailed what that new information was.
By 6 p.m., authorities had assigned a prosecutor to assist the police on charging decisions. Police say they have more than 60 detectives reviewing photos and videos from the Saturday demonstration.
The department says Chief Steve Anderson asked Funk to designate a prosecutor, adding a second layer of review before arrest warrants are issued.
In the meantime, the warrants against Justin Jones and Janeisha Harris “will be recalled for the present.”
Jones thanked a “swift investigation” by prosecutors: “In this case, justice beared out but we have to make sure that it works for all.That is why we protest.”
The abrupt reversal followed what had been the latest charges stemming from clashes between demonstrators and police on Saturday. Authorities initially said that Jones, 24, was photographed during Saturday’s demonstrations walking on top of a patrol car and damaging it. Harris, 23, was similarly charged.
Meanwhile, Daniel Lane, 22, of Franklin, is charged with felony aggravated rioting in relation to the spray-painting of the car. His charges still stand.
The police announced the arrest warrants just a few hours before another protest against police brutality was set to begin in Nashville.
Jones has been active in local protests and politics in recent years, and a video of him successfully asking National Guardsmen to lower their shields on Monday has been widely shared.
On Twitter, Jones called the charges “politically motivated, and false.” Metro Councilmember Dave Rosenberg also reacted quickly, saying the charge “reeks of vengeance” and asking for more information.
Harris and Jones both tweeted that police sent SWAT teams to their homes.
Separately on Wednesday, police arrested a second man on charges connected to fires set inside the ground-floor offices at the Metro Courthouse on Saturday night. He was the fourth person charged in relation to courthouse vandalism. More than two dozen others faced lesser charges after the weekend conflict.