Media Calls Out ‘Over Aggressive Policing’ After Cops Arrest Counter-Protesters During Neo-Nazi Rally
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) April 21, 2018
Police dressed in riot gear and counter-protesters greeted a group of neo-Nazis and counter-protesters in a small Georgia town on Saturday.
The neo-Nazis held a planned rally in Newnan to promote their ideology with permission of the city, which approved the use of the pavilion. It was billed as the largest neo-Nazi gathering since Charlottesville.
“We will be hitting on all of the hot-button issues,” Burt Colucci, one of the heads of National Socialist Movement told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution prior to the rally. “If it is controversial in America, we gonna talk about it.”
Prior to the event, 50,000 people signed a Change.org petition to try to get it stopped.
City officials, though, argued that they had no choice.
In preparation for the rally, the city planned for a large police presence and erected barricades.
On the day of the rally, there were 700 police officers and approximately 30 neo-Nazis.
The counter-protesters, who greatly outnumbered the neo-Nazis, were separated by a fence. According to multiple media reports from the scene, the police quickly turned on those there to protest the neo-Nazis.
Jack Smith IV, a senior writer at Mic, filmed police rushing into the crowds to arrest a person wearing a bandana on their face.
Police rush into a crowded protest at the Nazi rally to snatch and arrest someone, allegedly for wearing a red bandana on their face — multiple protesters have been tackled and arrested for masks already today. pic.twitter.com/OdVXUpixHT
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) April 21, 2018
Christopher Mathias, of the Huffington Post reported he witnessed the “most over-aggressive policing” he had ever seen.
He also tweeted a photo of an officer pulling out a gun at the unarmed crowd.
When asked why the arrests were being made, Mathias was told, “there’s a law” against masks.
Watch video of the scene, via HuffPo, above.
[image via screengrab]
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