A local militia is planning an armed protest Tuesday evening at the historic Newton County courthouse after local law enforcement launched an investigation into the group.
The protest is scheduled to take place at the same time as a planned Board of Commissioners meeting that was cancelled due to security concerns. Commissioners were expected to lift a temporary moratorium on new places of worship at that meeting, paving the way for a proposed Muslim burial ground and mosque, which the militia opposes.
The investigation was opened after several members of Georgia Security Force III% made a video of themselves over the weekend protesting the presence of Muslims in the county and allegedly trespassing on the site of the proposed cemetery and mosque.
The protest has been called for by Henry County resident Chris Hill, who appears in the video calling himself “Blood Agent.”
The video has since been taken down.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Newton County Manager Lloyd Kerr wrote that the county government has faith in law enforcement’s ability to protect citizens and peaceful protesters.
“In this case, a self-made video circulated on social media of a militia group [from] a neighboring county, [which] may have been trespassing on private property, and exhibiting harassing or violent behavior,” Kerr wrote. “Unfortunately in today’s society, uncivil threats or intentions must be taken seriously.”
Read more about the Newton County mosque:
- Newton County in uproar over planned mosque
- Hundreds of Newton County residents debate mosque
- Newton County mosque: Hundreds turn out to say no way
- Newton County to lift moratorium on mosque, cemetery
- Emails reveal mosque debate within Newton County government
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