Tensions were high in a North Carolina city Friday as hundreds of people descended on downtown Durham to oppose a rumored march by the Ku Klux Klan, the Herald-Sun reported.
When the white supremacist group did not show up, a smaller group of people marched through the streets of Durham and encountered police wearing helmets and armed with batons, the Herald-Sun reported.
“Similar to a tornado watch that indicates conditions are favorable for a weather event, the highest levels of Sheriff’s Office notified the appropriate leaders of the community of the potential for a critical incident as it continued to verify information,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Tamara Gibbs said Friday afternoon. “This was done proactively to allow for planning in the event the Agency received verified information.”
As of Friday evening, there was no march.
Friday, a group of 50 to 75 people engaged police in a standoff in the street outside the Durham Police Department headquarters. Some of the people were carry anti-KKK and anti-racism signs, the Herald-Sun reported. Police blocked the protesters and threatened to arrest anyone who did not leave the street. Most of the protesters moved to the sidewalks, the Herald-Sun reported.
Police made one arrest.
Eva Panjwani called the opposition to the KKK a “people’s victory.”
“This is all part of a KKK strategy: a strategy to divide us like ants, scurrying away in fear,” she told the Herald-Sun.
“There’s been a lot of misinformation today, but there’s one thing that’s become even more clear than it ever has been before, that the community and the people of Durham must stand together,” she said.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com