Cops outnumber Klansmen at Memphis rally - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Cops outnumber Klansmen at Memphis rally

Posted: Updated:
Members of the Ku Klux Klan protest a decision to rename three parks named for the Confederacy and two of its leaders. Members of the Ku Klux Klan protest a decision to rename three parks named for the Confederacy and two of its leaders.

(CNN) -- A weekend rally by white supremacists in Memphis, Tennessee, saw far more cops than Klansmen on the streets.

An estimated five dozen Ku Klux Klan members turned out in downtown Memphis to protest the City Council's decision to rename three parks now named for the Confederacy and two of its leaders, CNN affiliate WMC reported. Some of them wore the group's traditional white robes, while others were dressed in camouflage or black military-style fatigues as they took to the steps of the old Shelby County Courthouse on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

They were surrounded by dozens more police officers and sheriff's deputies, most of them clad in riot gear, as they held the rally behind a protective fence. Outside, dozens more counterprotesters watched, many of them laughing and recording the Klansmen with mobile-phone cameras.

"I came here today because I want my kids to be able to see what ignorance looks like," one man told WMC. "I want them to know what the past looks like and what the future shouldn't look like."

Community leaders in the city, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, tried to draw attention away from the rally by inviting the public to a daylong "Heart of Memphis" festival "as we celebrate a city of one Memphis, where together, we succeed."

"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 showing that we can tolerate dissent even when the voices are voices that we're not pleased with," Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton told reporters Saturday.

The Memphis City Council voted in February to rename Confederate Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Nathan Bedford Forrest Park -- the latter two named for the president of the coalition of Southern states that tried to secede from the United States in 1861 and for the Confederate general who went on to become a Klan leader after the South lost the war.

The measure drew complaints of revisionist history from some citizens but praise from others, WMC reported.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:08:58 GMT
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
  • Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:53:35 GMT
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
  • Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:31:33 GMT
    Cedric Dewayne ThompsonCedric Dewayne Thompson
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.