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Media Calls Out ‘Over Aggressive Policing’ After Cops Arrest Counter-Protesters During Neo-Nazi Rally

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.

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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