The city of Memphis has officially approved a demonstration by the Loyal White Knights, better known as the Ku Klux Klan, to be held on March 30th.
City officials and police director Toney Armstrong have been discussing the issue for days, and the permit was finally approved after Armstrong gave the okay to proceed.
“Based on director Armstrong’s decision, the permits office took appropriate steps earlier today to issue the permit and contact the applicant,” said city attorney Herman Morris. “We have known from the beginning that denying this application would result in a legal fight on constitutionality that would be long, divisive, expensive, and that would unnecessarily prolong the decision. We have all, however, been very attune to director Armstrong’s review given the critical role the Memphis Police Department will play in a proposed demonstration.”
The KKK submitted their application to demonstrate following the Memphis City Council's decision to change the name of Forrest Park and other city parks named with Confederate themes.
"My primary focus is the safety of the public and all involved,” Armstrong said. “It will be in all of our best interest to have a demonstration where we are able to work with this group in setting the do’s and don’ts. Right now, my team has a strategy that will ensure everyone’s safety. What we absolutely do not want is some unplanned, spontaneous demonstration where my team has not been involved in planning and set-up.”