MPD successful in keeping KKK rally 'civil' - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD successful in keeping KKK rally 'civil'

Posted: Updated:
Roughly 60 Klan members gathered on the steps of the Shelby County courthouse after being bused in from the Pyramid. Roughly 60 Klan members gathered on the steps of the Shelby County courthouse after being bused in from the Pyramid.
Their rhetoric was drowned out by the rain and a supposedly faulty megaphone. Their rhetoric was drowned out by the rain and a supposedly faulty megaphone.
Memphis Police said they made just one arrest. Memphis Police said they made just one arrest.
Police ended Saturday with a successful plan of action in case the Klan ever comes back. Police ended Saturday with a successful plan of action in case the Klan ever comes back.
  • Also on WMCTV.COMMore>>

  • Anti-KKK protesters gather downtown

    Anti-KKK protesters gather downtown

    Saturday, March 30 2013 8:37 PM EDT2013-03-31 00:37:25 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Despite the rain, more than 1,000 people passed through police security Saturday to counter-protest in a designated anti-KKK spot. Anti-KKK protesters lined the fence of their designated areaMore >>
    Despite the rain, more than 1,000 people passed through police security Saturday to counter-protest in a designated anti-KKK spot.More >>
  • KKK promises 'largest' rally ever

    KKK promises 'largest' rally ever

    Tuesday, February 26 2013 1:49 PM EST2013-02-26 18:49:26 GMT
    MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – KKK members have usually shrouded themselves in anonymity throughout their hateful history. The Tennessee area leader known as the "exalted cyclops" did not want to be fully identified whenMore >>
    A local KKK member said the "largest rally Memphis has ever seen" will take place as a result of the city council's decision to rename three city parks.
    More >>
  • Battle continues on naming of three Memphis parks

    Battle continues on naming of three Memphis parks

    Monday, February 18 2013 11:48 PM EST2013-02-19 04:48:10 GMT
    MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – There is a battle over the names of several confederate themed parks in Memphis, with a new campaign to keep the names. You might say, "It's on," when it comes to the battle overMore >>
    There is a battle over the names of several confederate themed parks in Memphis, with a new campaign to keep the names.More >>
  • Mayor responds to KKK's promise of huge rally

    Mayor responds to KKK's promise of huge rally

    Wednesday, February 13 2013 6:48 AM EST2013-02-13 11:48:39 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor AC Wharton spoke to the Rotary Club Tuesday and addressed the controversy that prompted the KKK to promise its largest rally ever in the Bluff City. The controversy began whenMore >>
    Memphis Mayor AC Wharton spoke to the Rotary Club Tuesday and addressed the controversy that prompted the KKK to promise its largest rally ever in the Bluff City.More >>
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The KKK had a First Amendment right to rally. Memphis Police and supporting agencies had a duty to keep things civil. In the end, police said their plan was a success.

Roughly 60 Klan members gathered on the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse after being bused in from The Pyramid.

Their rhetoric was drowned out by the rain and a supposedly faulty megaphone. But retired judge and civil rights leader D'Army Bailey heard enough to know it was the same old song and dance.

"I think they have small kids they're teaching this wretched hatred. But they're smaller in number now," said Bailey.

Meanwhile, hundreds of law enforcement officers, including SWAT and K-9 units, controlled the impenetrable perimeter. It kept some 1,200 counter protesters from clashing with the KKK.

"Our overwhelming show of force certainly deterred anybody who came down with ill intent," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

Armstrong was injured working the last Klan rally in 1998, and was committed as the current top cop to stopping a repeat situation.

Mayor A C Wharton said the lack of injury and property damage Saturday is proof things worked, unlike a similar rally 15 years ago.

"We in Memphis and Shelby County and in this region took what could have been the worst of times and turned it into the best of times, in terms of dealing with dissent even when the voices are voices we're not pleased with," said Wharton.

Memphis Police said they made just one arrest. The person in custody is a counter protester from Michigan who was charged with disorderly conduct.

Other than that, MPD reports no injuries and no property damage.

Police ended Saturday with a successful plan of action in case the Klan ever comes back.

Director Armstrong will have exact numbers on total officers and the dollars in the coming days.

See photos in this slideshow. (If you are on mobile, follow the link: http://bit.ly/YMnzMQ)

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-04-15 15:48:25 GMT
    James SiebenthalJames Siebenthal
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
  • 7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:31:56 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books. Shiloh Sanders talked about the inspiration behind herMore >>
    Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books.More >>
  • Teen killed in crash after prom

    Teen killed in crash after prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:47:48 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - A young man's life was taken too soon. It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends. His promMore >>
    It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends.More >>
Powered by WorldNow