KKK applies for March 30 rally permit - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

KKK applies for March 30 rally permit

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have applied for a permit to hold a rally on March 30 but the permit has not been approved by the city of Memphis.

The requested date is the day before Easter.

The rally location the KKK is asking for is downtown at 140 Adams Ave. The location is in front of Shelby County General Sessions Court.

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Police Director Toney Armstrong said on Friday the city's permits office will examine the permit request and make sure everything is in order.

"(The KKK) will be given the same rights as everyone else," Director Armstrong said.

Since January the Klan has been recruiting throughout the Mid-South for their March 30 rally.

The Klan is claming to plan the largest rally ever to protest the recent name changes of three Confederate city parks.

City Council voted to change the names of Forrest Park, Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park in a move to prevent the Tennessee Legislature from permanently banning Memphis council from changing the park's names.

The Klan wasn't too pleased about council's move and has vowed to protest. Earlier this week the Imperial Kaltrop of the King Kleagle K-Duo Realm of Arkansas Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan sent each member of Memphis council a two-paragraph letter stating their displeasure in council to drop some Civil War references from three Memphis parks.

Director Armstrong said the KKK won't be the biggest problem if they are permitted to hold a rally. It will be what they might have that officers can't see.

"The thing that concerns us most here in 2013 that we didn't face in 1997 is that the mention of firearms and a lot of them will have a Tennessee handgun carry," Director Armstrong said. "That's a big obstacle we'll have to get through. Also, those who oppose this rally."

Director Armstrong said his staff will start brainstorming sessions with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office in an effort to be ready if the city grants the KKK the permit to hold a rally.

"People have expressed interest in showing up and exercising freedom of speech," he said. "We'll prepare for the worst and pray for the best."

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FOX13 News reporter Kristin Tallent contributed to this report.

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