White supremacist group may target Lexington for next rally - WDRB 41 Louisville News

White supremacist group may target Lexington for next rally

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- A white supremacist group may be targeting Lexington for a rally.

The rally would be in response to Mayor Jim Gray's proposal to remove two Confederate statues from the lawn of Lexington's former courthouse. Gray is taking steps to move statues of John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge to the city's Veterans Park. 

"Traditionalist Worker Party" founder Matthew Heimbach told WKRC in Cincinnati that he and other white supremacists are considering having their next protest in Lexington over the statues. 

The Lexington-Herald Leader reported that the Heimbach and his supporters are considering a lawsuit to block the removal of the Confederate-era monuments.

Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard has been in contact with the police chief in Charlottesville to discuss safety issues, according to the New York Times. The chief spoke with the paper and said law enforcement will be ready.  

"You'll have people feeling passionate wanting to come in, but you'll also have professional protesters who want to come in and fight," he said. "We'll be prepared for them also.

"You can have as much intelligence about the groups and their past behavior, you can have all planning and all the training, but you can’t predict what will go on.” 

Heimbach made headlines in Louisville during the presidential campaign.  He pleaded guilty in July to disorderly conducted after admitting he shoved a female protester at a political rally for then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump. He was fined $145 and sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was conditionally discharged for two years. He was ordered to have no contact with the protester. 

The future of Confederate statues on public property is being re-evaluated across the U.S. following the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Some cities around the nation are calling for the statues' removal similar to the way the Confederate battle flag was shunned by some following a mass shooting by a white supremacist inside a South Carolina church. Statues are being removed or slated for removal in Gainesville, Florida, Baltimore; San Antonio; Durham, North Carolina and elsewhere.

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