A recent Ku Klux Klan rally, that took place in Dayton, Ohio, was an odd sight because only nine people showed up to support the white supremacist hate group. The handful of KKK members were met with 600 counter-protesters.
Due to fear of violence clash between the KKK and protesters, more than 350 police officers gathered to monitor the event.
The 350 officers were called from Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo and Cincinnati and cost the state over $650,000.
Videos and pictures from the rally showed the nine members of the Honorable Sacred Knights wearing masks, waving signs and American and KKK flags.
Organizers of the rally, which received a permit from Montgomery County, applied under a fake name and claimed about 50 people would be attending.
State officials said despite the fake name; they had to approve the group’s request for a permit because the documentation for the application was appropriately done.
Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert explained: “We are legally obligated to provide access to public spaces where individuals can exercise their freedom of speech and right to assemble.”
Colbert said: “More importantly, we will continue to work with our local law enforcement and community organizations to ensure public safety before, during, and after the planned event.”
Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney sent out an email to members of City Council praising the police officers: “There is no reason to believe the events this weekend will be anything other than peaceful. However, CPD officers will be on-hand to assist Dayton Police in a support/reserve capacity should their services be needed.”
Mr. Duhaney went on to say: “Local law enforcement has sent organizations in the Dayton community a strong recommendation to not attempt a counter-protest at the actual location of the rally. However, several peaceful alternative events are planned by Dayton-area human/civil rights organizations. The groups have been working in close coordination with local law enforcement to develop a strategy that allows concerned community members a space to gather without being near the rally.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley slammed the Ku Klux Klan while talking to local reporters: “This hate group that is coming in from outside our community want to incite problems in our community, and we want to stop that from happening. We don't want people to go downtown because that's what this hate group wants, and we don't want to give this hate group what they want.”
Should rallies like these be forbidden, yes or no?