CMPD says rumors of KKK march in uptown Charlotte are untrue

The scene at last weekend’s peaceful vigil in Marshall Park in the aftermath of violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The scene at last weekend’s peaceful vigil in Marshall Park in the aftermath of violence in Charlottesville, Va. jwester@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Saturday that rumors of a Ku Klux Klan march in uptown Charlotte Saturday are false.

A vigil for victims of deadly violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Marshall Park in Charlotte. CMPD said in a tweet it expects that event to be peaceful.

Also on Saturday, the city of Charlotte tweeted out a similar message, saying, “City leaders want tonight’s Charlottesville vigil in Marshall Park to be a safe event for all who participate. Social media posts from various accounts may be sharing misleading information and/or old images.

The vigil is also aimed as a call to action to combat white supremacy.

The event, led by Charlotte Uprising, came a week after violence erupted at a white nationalist and white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, where a 32-year-old woman died after a car rammed into a group of counter protesters, and two state police officers were killed in a helicopter crash.

In Charlotte, Saturday’s event was designed as a place for people to mourn the deaths in Virginia, and create a space for others to think of ways to fight against white supremacy on a local level.

It was the second vigil in uptown following the events in Charlottesville, culminating a week filled with nationwide rallies condemning racism, Naziism, the “Alt-right” and white supremacy.

In addition to the rallies, the violence in Charlottesville sparked nationwide debates about the removal of Confederate monuments. Charlottesville’s plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a downtown park drew the attention of the white nationalists, white supremacists and others.

Several Confederate objects were vandalized throughout the country in the wake of Charlottesville, including in Durham, where a group of protesters were arrested after they tore down a statue of a Confederate soldier.

The events in Durham continued through Friday when hundreds of protestors held a counterprotest in anticipation of a rumored KKK march that ultimately never materialized.

President Donald Trump received heavy criticism after his remarks on Charlottesville, when he claimed there was blame “on both sides” for the violence. Critics said Trump created a false equivalence between the white nationalists at the rally and the counterprotesters.

Adam Bell: 704-358-5696, @abell