Ku Klux Klan, New Black Panther Party Hold Rallies at South Carolina Statehouse - NBC 6 South Florida
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Ku Klux Klan, New Black Panther Party Hold Rallies at South Carolina Statehouse

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rallies Raise Tensions on Both Sides of Flag Debate

    A sea of Confederate flags held by screaming Klu Klux Klan members fluttered in front of the South Carolina Statehouse Saturday, just as a counter rally featuring African flags on the other side of the Capitol wrapped up, NBC News reported.

    Black Educators for Justice, based in Jacksonville, Florida, held its rally Saturday on the north side of the Statehouse, where the Confederate flag was removed earlier this month. Later, the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally on the opposite side of the building to protest the flag's removal.

     

    About 50 members descended on the Capitol steps waving the rebel banners — at least one of which included a Nazi symbol — and immediately began shouting racial slurs at attendees of an earlier "Countering the Attack on Black Unity Rally." Those protesters were moved behind barricades, a distance away from the Statehouse steps, where they yelled back at the pro-Confederate flag group, according to NBC News. 

    Two men who were involved in a scuffle were led away by police. During the rallies, State Trooper Leroy Smith, who is black, was seen helping a white man wearing a T-shirt bearing a swastika get out of the heat.

    Gov. Nikki Haley earlier in the week urged residents to avoid the KKK rally, adding that doing so would honor the nine people shot and killed at a predominantly black church in Charleston last month.