While their website is touting a rally in Mount Airy, local law enforcement officials say a planned rally by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Clan will actually be held in Claudeville, Va.
Sheriff Graham Atkinson said yesterday that he and other law enforcement know of the planned rally by the Eden-based group but will not be actively involved due to jurisdictional issues.
Captain Alan Freeman of the Mount Airy Police Department said his department knows of the planned gathering and will be keeping an eye out.
“We’re aware of a rally that’s supposed to take place and had received information that it would be in Mount Airy, but it’s not,” Freeman said. “We later received information that it’s going to be held on private property in Claudeville.”
Freeman said no permits have been requested by the group.
“Usually, if they gather they get a permit or something like that, but we haven’t received any information about anything taking place here,” he said. “We’re just going to be keeping an eye out and letting everyone know that this is taking place so everyone can be aware.
“At this point we don’t know whether there’s actually going to be a rally, and if there is I hope it stays in Claudeville,” Freeman added. “But we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out.”
Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said he had no “official” confirmation there would be a Klan rally in Patrick County, though he did not discount the possibility.
“If it’s in Claudeville, obviously they want to be clandestine and not let anyone know,” he said, adding if the supposed rally takes place on private property no laws are being broken and his department would not be involved.
“If traffic starts getting back up in the streets, or blocks a public street, then obviously we would get involved,” he said.
While not commenting on this rally in particular, Smith said when there are large gatherings of people, he generally increases patrols in the area.
According to a flyer posted on the group’s website, the “Klan Rally” is set for today at 3 p.m. with a “crosslighting at dark.”
The flyer stipulates that the event is for “whites only.”
“All white people are welcome to attend,” it reads, adding that no weapons are allowed.
“Security will be provided by (the Loyal White Knights),” it continues. “We will be having speeches, food, drinks and more.
“This is a family event for WHITES ONLY.”
The phone number on the flyer is also found on the group’s website and is attributed to Imperial Wizard Chris Barker.
Phone messages left for Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith, whose department would have jurisdiction over any Claudeville rally, were not returned.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.