- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 26, 2019

A rally by an obscure Ku Klux Klan group that drew only nine participants was met Saturday with an overwhelming law enforcement and counterprotest presence in Dayton, Ohio.

The rally by the Honorable Sacred Knights, a KKK group from Indiana, went off without incident after police fenced off the Montgomery Courthouse Square, placing two police lines, a barricade, and blocks of distance between the KKK and a counterprotest crowd estimated at 600.

Police said the rally drew nine people.

“You could barely see them, and definitely couldn’t hear a word they said all day,” tweeted Mr. Fischer, who was on the scene.

The city spent an estimated $650,000 on security measures, with about $250,000 for personnel and $400,000 for contracts and materials, according to WHIO-TV.

About 350 officers were on the scene. Joining the Dayton Police Department were officers from the Ohio State Patrol, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo police.

“Some may be critical of this investment,” city manager Shelley Dickstein told WHIO-TV. “Unfortunately in today’s world where individuals are free to open carry unlimited numbers of guns and where we have seen vehicles driven into crowds of peaceful protesters, we feel this investment was necessary.”

There were no arrests. Some protesters carried firearms, as shown on social media. Among the protest groups that turned out to denounce the KKK group were Black Lives Matter, Antifa and the New Black Panther Party.

The NAACP Dayton Unit held a festival at the same time as the rally at McIntosh Park, which drew Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and other elected officials Throughout the city were signs posted with the message, “Dayton Unites Against Hate.”

“I am very glad that today’s events went off without incident and the hate group that tried to threaten our city is gone,” Ms. Whaley said in a statement. “Daytonians demonstrated what we’ve known all along— that we are a community that can come together in a time of fear and anger and peacefully stand up for our neighbors.”

The NAACP was scheduled to hold Sunday a “symbolic cleansing of the square” at the site of the KKK rally.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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