City spent $650,000 on security costs for KKK rally; no arrests

UPDATE @ 4:31 p.m.:

Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said the city estimated it spent about $650,000 on security costs related to public safety for a Ku Klux Klan rally Saturday.

>> PHOTOS: Afternoon of Love event answers KKK rally in Dayton

>>PHOTOS: Crowds gather to counter KKK rally

City officials said security measures kept Dayton residents safe in an era of concealed carry and open carry of weapons.

Dickstein said the city estimated $250,000 on personnel costs and $400,000 on materials. They said a more accurate figure will be totaled later.

“We have very little way to recapture that spent money,” Dickstein said.

The safety measures were needed, Dickstein said, because “the world has changed greatly.”

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said he was “very pleased” with security for public events in Dayton today connected to a Ku Klux Klan rally, noting that no one was arrested, and no use of force incidents and no injuries were reported.

“This clearly was a safety challenge for our city and our community,” Biehl said.

City officials estimate around 500 to 600 people gathered in the area of Courthouse Square during the rally.

UPDATE @ 2:53 p.m.:

The Ku Klux Klan group rally has ended. They have started to leave the Courthouse square.

UPDATE @ 2:25 p.m.:

The nine members of the Ku Klux Klan group conducting a rally in downtown Dayton that drew hundreds to counter protest their presence have done little talking during the first hour.

When they have talked, opposition groups have worked to ensure no one in the crowd will hear them.

All but one of the KKK members wore masks to hide their faces.

They waved American flags, a KKK flag and a Confederate battle flag. They also brought a sign with a phone number on it.

At one point, people opposed to the hate group started to shake a security fence, police said, but the crowd calmed down.

UPDATE @ 1:40 p.m.:

A Church of God group from Greenville came to downtown Dayton and sang Amazing Grace over speakers to drown out what speakers for a Ku Klux Klan group conducting a rally in Courthouse Square.

The church group was part of approximately 500 people who came to oppose the KKK message.

Other counter demonstrators chanted, clapped and held flags and signs denouncing hate.

Dayton City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild said the key was to keep people safe, and so far that had happened.

“There is a great crowd of people down here on Main Street,” Fairchild said. “This is probably Dayton at its best.”

He said he was concerned about the potential for violence, but said the city and police were well prepared.

UPDATE @ 1:25 p.m.: 

Police on horseback have blocked off an alleyway near the site of a Ku Klux Klan rally happening now in Dayton.

PHOTOS: Crowd gathers to counter KKK rally in downtown Dayton

Mounted patrol officers formed a barricade in the area as part of the security detail.

>> Police have closed streets for KKK rally. Which ones?

Nine members of the KKK group that calls itself the Honorable Sacred Knights are inside a secure perimeter inside. The group appeared to have about 10 other supporters in a designated area outside Courthouse Square.

>> KKK rally in Dayton: Detours to avoid road closures downtown

As many as 500 people came to the area to protest against the KKK and hate speech.

>> What businesses and buildings are closed for KKK rally in Dayton?

Those counter groups are playing drums and tubas, plus banging on pots and buckets, so that no one in the crowd has been able to hear the KKK group’s message.

A police drone hovered above the courthouse, where a temporary flight restriction is in place for the public. Officers also are on rooftops with binoculars.

UPDATE @ 12:57 p.m.:

Hundreds of people are near Courthouse Square in Dayton now to counter protest the nine members of the Ku Klux Klan inside a secure area for a rally today.

The group received a permit for an event from 1 to 3 p.m.

About nine other people who were showing support the Indiana-based Honorable Sacred Knights group. Some counter demonstrators have come into the area designated for HSK supporters.

UPDATE @ 12:09 p.m.:

More people are starting to gather outside the perimeter fences as a Ku Klux Klan group's planned 1 to 3 p.m. rally in Courthouse Square in Dayton nears.

A heavy police presence is visible, too. Some officers have shields and zip ties, and many are carrying masks in the event chemical agents are used to disperse the crowd. Mounted police are also assembling.

Drums have been heard from some KKK opponents.

The Klan group will speak in the far northwest corner of the square behind the fountain, where two Canada geese lingered in the water around noon.

A drone is in a holding pattern overhead, and law enforcement are on top of a nearby buildings with what appears to be spotting scopes/video cameras.

One man, Micah Naziri, 42, of Yellow Springs, carried a rifle and wore a red hat that says “Make racists afraid again.” He said he was because he worried that armed KKK supporters would try to terrorize minority community members. “I’m not here to shoot anybody, it’s an anti-facist statement,” he said.

UPDATE @ 10:48 a.m.:

An increasing police presence continues to develop in the Courthouse Square area in downtown Dayton, where potentially about 20 Ku Klux Klan supporters are expected to rally today.

>> KKK rally in Dayton: Detours to avoid road closures downtown

Some officers are walking through the area, while others are clustered on street corners. Horses for mounted patrols also are in staging areas.

Dayton street maintenance trucks and other vehicles are blocking surrounding streets.

>> Police have closed streets for KKK rally. Which ones?

UPDATE @ 9:05 a.m.: Dayton police this morning issued a reminder as a KKK group plans to rally in Courthouse Square from 1 to 3 p.m. today.

“Safety is always our #1 priority...and we always appreciate & need the community's help. If you're in our city today, please ‘See Something, Say Something,’” the department said via Twitter.

“Notice something odd or suspicious, please call 937-333-COPS ,” it read.

EARLIER: About 20 Ku Klux Klan members are expected to rally for two hours today on Courthouse Square in Dayton, prompting a police response involving hundreds of officers seeking to maintain the peace among untold counter-demonstrators and white nationalist supporters.

Security concerns prompted numerous street closures, shut down businesses and drawn warnings from Dayton’s mayor and others who urge people simply to avoid downtown today.

News of the rally also prompted a United Against Hate campaign in Dayton, galvanizing many people to efforts denouncing the KKK and hate speech.

While there was unity against the message, local groups could not agree on how to handle today’s event.

Some leaders told those who would listen to stay away, others planned events today elsewhere in the city to celebrate Dayton’s diversity and some said they would directly confront the KKK downtown.

This story will be updated today with news about public safety alerts, community reaction and more.


>> Dayton uniting against Klan’s message

>> Community events scheduled to understand hate group, avoid the Klan

>> Archdeacon: UD vs. the Klan ‘worth commemorating’ 

>> Dayton mayor asks public to stay out of downtown during KKK rally

>> Dayton police discuss Klan rally security; city urges people to stay away