Montgomery County denies KKK permit application to rally at Courthouse Square

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Hundreds gathered on Main Street in downtown Dayton in May 2019 to peacefully demonstrate against the group

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners denied the permit application of the KKK-affiliated group the Honorable Sacred Knights to use Court House Square for an event on Sept. 5, 2020.

The announcement was made in a release Friday morning.

In the release, the County cited the following reasons as the basis of the denial:

  • Significant threat to public health and safety, which imposed an undue burden on local law enforcement to provide security and ensure the safety of people and property
  • Negative impact on commerce, including significant traffic interruption and road closures, cancellation of events, and shuttering of downtown businesses
  • Significant financial burden on taxpayers, with costs for security totaling $770,000 (City of Dayton = $650,000; Montgomery County = $120,000).

The Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners released this statement:

“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.”

Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners

The county stressed it did contribute equipment, personnel and resources for the law enforcement and public safety effort surrounding last year’s event on Court House Square. A summary of County costs in personnel and resource expenses from the 2019 event is below.

Sheriff’s Office personnel costs                                                                       $28,500

Emergency Management personnel costs and equipment upgrades      $35,000

Safety fencing                                                                                                   $57,500

Total Costs:                                                                                                       $121,000

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley sent a statement Friday after the announcement.

“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.”

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley

Whaley said Monday, “I understand that people are angry and afraid about the news that this hate group is planning this return trip. Let me be clear: I’m angry, too.” Whaley continued, “After everything our community went through last year, quite frankly, this is too much.”

Hundreds gathered on Main Street in downtown Dayton in May 2019 to peacefully demonstrate against the group when a small number appeared on Courthouse Square.

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