Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has declared memorials at Lee Highway and Amnicola Highway, at which a 24-year-old gunman mounted brazen attacks on two military installations last Thursday, as "protected memorial services, which will shield them from any protests," according to news releases.
The gunman, who officials said on Wednesday was a "violent extremist," killed five and wounded others during his assault, before being shot and killed by police.
"Since the incidents, the sites have served as memorials to the fallen heroes, and thousands of people have visited the sites to memorialize the mourn them," Berke wrote in a directive, labeled number 2015-01.
Berke directed the Chattanooga Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and other agencies to defend mourners at Lee Highway, Amnicola Highway, and any funeral processions and funeral services.
Berke cited Tennessee Code Section 39-17-317 as the justification for preventing interference during memorial services, preventing anyone from doing anything "in a manner offensive to an ordinary person."
He said the Tennessee General Assembly has determined that picketing, protesting or demonstrating at a funeral or memorial service within 500 feet shall be deemed offensive.
He also cited federal law, specifically 38 USC Section 2413, which prohibits some demonstrations at national cemeteries, such as the Chattanooga National Military Cemetary, within 300 feet of the entrance.