/Ohio city spends $650,000 for security during Ku Klux Klan rally

Ohio city spends $650,000 for security during Ku Klux Klan rally

A weekend protest in the city of Dayton, Ohio ended peacefully, but at a monetary cost. 

Officials in the city of approximately 140,000 people estimate that the cost for security during the Ku Klux Klan rally and counterprotest will come in around $650,000. The cost, officials told Time, was incurred by bringing in over 350 police officers to work around the two events, as well as providing barriers and other items to separate KKK members and counter-protestors.

“I’m proud of the city. I think it is frustrating on how expensive it is today to keep people safe,” Dayton’s Mayor Nan Whaley told Time.

The rally sparked national headlines both before and after it was held Saturday. The KKK group from Indiana, known as the Honorable Sacred Knights, had nine members arrive for the rally. They were greeted by as many as 600 counter-protestors, including Antifa and socialist groups, the Cincinnati Enquirer said. 

To ensure safety, Dayton called in police officers from departments in Toledo, Cincinnati and Cleveland as well as several local sheriff’s offices and used large trucks to block off the streets near the protest location and the rally. 

Whaley told Time that part of the reason for such intense security was tied to Ohio’s open carry law, which allows residents to possess a gun in public with or without a license. In Ohio, handguns can only legally be sold to individuals 21 and up, and anyone looking to obtain a conceal and carry permit must complete eight hours of training unless they are a member of the U.S. Military.

“This place we live in now [is] where we have to really prepare for really bad scenarios, and that’s really expensive,” Whaley said. She also told Time that she has contacted Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown to see if her office can help with the costs.

The rally ended without any arrests or injuries, which Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl called “a very safe day.”

“The way that the city did it was really awesome, but as a taxpayer of the city I’m extremely aggravated and irritated [at] the fact that our city spent $650,000 on this,” Dayton resident Jesse Seiber, 25 told Time.

Another resident, Gus Stathes, told the magazine he didn’t mind the cost. “I’d much rather spend money than human lives. It could have gotten real ugly real fast.”

Dayton Rally

Police officers and Highway State patrol officers keep careful watch over the various activities occurring during a rally held by the KKK affiliated group Honorable Sacred Knights of Indiana at Courthouse Square on May 25, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Around 1,000 counter demonstrators came to protest the Indiana based white supremacist group of whom there were less than a dozen. Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

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