MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Montgomery County has denied the permit from a KKK-affiliated group to rally in Court House Square Labor Day weekend.
“Montgomery County has denied the permit application of the KKK-affiliated group the Honorable Sacred Knights to use Court House Square, in the interest of protecting public health and safety for all our citizens. Our taxpayers should not be forced to bear the significant financial burden that will be required to fund law enforcement and security measures during this event, nor should our businesses be forced to shutter their doors,” the county said in a statement.
The county cited the following as a basis of the denial:
1. Significant threat to public health and safety, which imposed an undue burden on local law enforcement to provide security and ensure safety of people and property;
2. Negative impact on commerce, including significant traffic interruption and road closures, cancellation of events, and shuttering of downtown businesses;
3. And significant financial burden on taxpayers, with costs for security totaling $770,000 (City of Dayton = $650,000; Montgomery County = $120,000).
The same group came to Court House Square last Memorial Day, costing the city of Dayton The city of Dayton about $650,000 on security costs related to public safety.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley responded to the denial Friday morning, saying,
“I am so glad that the county has taken this step to deny the permit to the hate group. The safety of our citizens comes first - and the hate group's presence would once again create a dangerous and volatile situation in our downtown. We at the city will continue to do everything in our power to make sure no groups that want to cause us harm can hijack our city at great cost to taxpayers and our businesses."
The KKK-affiliated group has released the following statement:
“We will still be in Dayton Ohio on September 5th. We are speaking with an attorney and will be suing for infringement and interfering with our right to peacefully assemble. If they continue to deni us then we will be on the corners of third and main instead but will still sue. We never asked for any security. We nev asked for any funding. The Honorable Sacred Knights have never commited any crimes or threatened to commit any crimes. Not one of our members even has a criminal record,” they said in an email to News Center 7.