Demonstrators behind a Ku Klux Klan banner, some wearing what looked to be Klan robes, rallied without hoods in North Carolina on Saturday. Now, police say they’ve obtained warrants for weapons violations at the demonstration.
In pictures of the gathering, at the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough, some protesters are seen with what appear to be weapons on their belts. It’s unlawful in North Carolina to possess a dangerous weapon at a demonstration in a public place, and a sheriff’s office spokesperson confirmed to TPM Tuesday that two men were wanted for violating that law.
“As protestors and counter protesters dispersed, onlookers told law enforcement that some of the protestors were openly carrying firearms,” Orange County Sheriff Charles S. Blackwood said in a statement Monday. “Prior to this notification, no officer from either agency observed anyone in possession of a weapon.”
If police had seen the weapons at the demonstration, Blackwood said, “officers would have made arrests.”
Since then, he said, police reviewed photos and videos of the event and identified two people who had guns at the demonstration and are attempting to serve warrants.
Though police called the gathering “impromptu” and local reports indicate that it began and ended quickly, some counter-protesters faulted cops with not detaining armed demonstrators at the scene.
Very strange to claim that none of the Hillsborough Police or Orange County Sherriff’s Deputies saw the two KKK members openly carrying guns during the Klan rally in Hillsborough.
Strange in the sense of not being believable.
— Move Silent Sam (@Move_Silent_Sam) August 27, 2019
KKK in Hillsborough. pic.twitter.com/BU12JIvs0Y
— Tammy Grubb (@TammyGrubb) August 24, 2019
Blackwood told the Durham Herald-Sun that one suspect lives in another county and another lives out of state. The paper reported that the demonstrators are members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and are based out of Pelham, North Carolina.
Pictures from the demonstration showed them carrying a banner that read “Help make America great again. Join the Loyal White Knights.”
Pictured above: A member of the Ku Klux Klan holds a flag during a rally, calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments, in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 2017. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
This post has been updated.
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