Protesters flood downtown Durham amid rumors of KKK rally - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Protesters flood downtown Durham amid rumors of KKK rally

People protest against a rumored Ku Klux Klan rally, Friday in Durham, NC. The sheriff had issued a statement that he was investigating the rumors, but no gathering of white supremacists was apparent by midafternoon. (Source: AP Photo/Jonathan Drew) People protest against a rumored Ku Klux Klan rally, Friday in Durham, NC. The sheriff had issued a statement that he was investigating the rumors, but no gathering of white supremacists was apparent by midafternoon. (Source: AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)
A protester looks down from where a Confederate statue once stood in front of the old Durham County Courthouse in Durham, NC, on Friday. Protesters pulled the statue down on Monday and came back to deface the pedestal on Friday. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed) A protester looks down from where a Confederate statue once stood in front of the old Durham County Courthouse in Durham, NC, on Friday. Protesters pulled the statue down on Monday and came back to deface the pedestal on Friday. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

(RNN) - The crowd of anti-hate protestors is slowing dispersing after rumors that the KKK has backed off their planned rally.

Amid rumors of a white supremacist rally that was supposed to begin at noon in Durham, the county closed down government buildings and crowds flooded into to the street to counter-protest.

Twitter and other social media sites lit up with calls to action against the KKK rally.

Live streams from local media and social media show a crowd of about 200 people carrying "No hate" signs and chanting “No KKK. No Fascists USA."

No rally materialized, and the sheriff's office said roads will be reopened soon, and a street fair will go on as planned.

Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrew released a statement thanking the protesters for being non-violent:

"We want to thank the Durham community for a peaceful demonstration. Throughout the day, we have received numerous reports of potential counter protests in the Durham community. The Sheriff's Office has been gathering and reviewing information related to potential counter protests throughout the week. We have taken steps to ensure public safety. At this time, law enforcement continues to monitor the area and has not confirmed reports of activity. We are urging residents to avoid joining the crowd in the downtown area as law enforcement continues to monitor the situation. Residents are encouraged to rely on verified information."

On Monday evening, protesters tore down a statue of a Confederate soldier from its pedestal in front of a county building. The crowd gathered in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. 

Police charged eight people with a variety of felonies and misdemeanors charges including disorderly conduct, damage to real property and participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500. Protestors who did not tear down the statue will not face charges.

In a show of support, more than 200 people lined up at the Durham County Courthouse the next day to "confess" to tearing down the statue. However, law enforcement used video to identify suspects. 

The country is on edge after white supremacists and white nationalists rallied in Charlottesville last weekend that turned violent and resulted in three deaths. Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others were injured when James Fields rammed his car into a crowd. Fields was photographed marching with a white nationalist group during the protest.

The white supremacists' groups choose Charlottesville because the city council wanted to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. The organizer of the rally, Richard Spencer - who coined the term alt-right - attended school there.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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