Many state and local governments are strapped for cash due to the recession, so one would think government officials would do whatever is necessary to restrain spending. Regrettably, that’s not always the case, as evidenced by the whopping $175, 585 that was reportedly spent on a recent KKK rally.
The City of Memphis and Shelby County reportedly spent $175, 585 to maintain public safety during a KKK rally that took place on Easter weekend. The cost includes overtime for police and fire personnel as well as the cost for fencing, portable toilets, and buses. All of this for a small group of less than 75 members of a once powerful domestic terror group.
“I commend the public safety officials and officers for their commitment to maintaining order under tough conditions, long hours standing in rainy cold weather and listening to the hateful rants of our out-of-town visitors,” Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said. “The participation of other law enforcement agencies helped create a show of force that sends a strong message, ‘We will do what’s necessary to maintain order and keep the peace in Memphis.’ Their professionalism, patience, and dedication are much appreciated.”
During the rally, the Klan called on members from across the county to Memphis to protest the council’s decision to rename parks which were racially offensive to black residents.
Prior to the renaming, the names of the parks were Confederate Park; Jefferson Davis Park, named for the Confederacy’s president; and Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, named for a Confederate lieutenant general and the Klan’s first grand wizard. The new names are Memphis Park, Mississippi River Park and Health Sciences Park, but the council may still change those names.