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Dayton KKK rally: Police keep KKK members and counterprotesters apart

Cincinnati Enquirer logo Cincinnati Enquirer 5/25/2019 Sarah Brookbank and Albert Cesare

DAYTON – Less than a dozen members of the Honorable Sacred Knights - a Ku Klux Klan group from Indiana - were vastly outnumbered Saturday by hundreds of counterprotesters in Dayton. 

Montgomery Courthouse Square and multiple blocks of downtown Dayton were shut down Saturday for the rally and protests that took place from 1 to 3 p.m. Law enforcement officials from Toledo, Cincinnati, Cleveland and multiple sheriff’s offices including Hamilton County's patrolled the streets on foot, bike and horse.

a group of people standing in front of a sign © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

Protestors against the HSK and any HSK supporters were separated by a number of city blocks, chain link fences and armed law enforcement.

a group of people standing in front of a sign: From left, Savonna Medley, Michael Lewis and Morgan Ferguson hold signs while protesting the Honorable Sacred Knights rally outside the Montgomery Courthouse Square in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, May 25, 2019. © Albert Cesare / The Enquirer From left, Savonna Medley, Michael Lewis and Morgan Ferguson hold signs while protesting the Honorable Sacred Knights rally outside the Montgomery Courthouse Square in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, May 25, 2019.

Few, if any, HSK supporters made themselves known in the diverse crowd of counterprotesters.

According to Dayton Police, the plan was to keep the groups as separate as possible to prevent clashes. The event went on without incident. 

"I am very glad that today's events went off without incident and the hate group that tried to threatened our city is gone," Mayor Nan Whaley said in a statement. 

A group of Antifa, dressed in all black with their faces covered, came out as temperatures reached 89 degrees. Two dozen members from the Party for Socialism and Liberation of led chants with megaphones.  

Nine members from the Huey P. Newton Gun Club – a group that advocates for African American gun rights – arrived in full tactical gear with rifles. Dozens of other protesters were armed. 

Associated Press reporter Dan Sewell reported that Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl says “this was a very safe day.”

Biehl said there were no arrests and no injuries reported.

"This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work - making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton," Whaley said. 

City officials during a press conference Saturday afternoon told reporters that Saturday's events cost the city around $650,000. They estimated more than 500 to 600 people came for the counterprotest.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Dayton KKK rally: Police keep KKK members and counterprotesters apart

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