Cumberland Times-News

April 24, 2014

Ku Klux Klan planning Saturday courthouse rally

No permit needed; city police, deputies to monitor event

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — A public rally by the Ku Klux Klan is planned for Saturday in front of the courthouse on Washington Street.

The event staged by the Traditional Rebel Knights of the KKK located in Braddock Heights is announced on the group’s website. The rally will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The group informed Cumberland Police a couple of weeks ago about their planned April 26 visit, according to Capt. Greg Leake, police operations supervisor.

“They advised they plan to hold banners and demonstrate their right to do so. They assured us that they will not cause any problems,” said Leake.

Uniformed Cumberland Police officers will monitor the situation and be in the area throughout the event.

Leake said notification from the group of their rally was shared with the sheriff’s office and allied police agencies.

Sheriff Craig A. Robertson said it was expected that the group would have 15 participants present at the rally.

The sheriff said he he did not know why the KKK was planning to visit Cumberland for a public rally.

“It’s freedom of speech. They are allowed to be there,” he said.

Robertson also said his road patrol officers on duty at that time would make periodic checks of the event “to make sure there are no issues.”

He also said the courthouse would be closed at that time by its normal schedule and the event would be conducted without interference in any courthouse operation.

Efforts to contact the KKK group by the Times-News were unsuccessful.

Asked to comment on the planned rally, State’s Attorney Michael O. Twigg said, “I find it reprehensible.”

No permits are needed for a public rally in the city where there is no solicitation involved.

However, groups holding such activities are urged to contact Cumberland Police about their planned activity.

“We just ask they be respectful of other people,” said Leake.