City: Race Rally Will Cost Taxpayers Thousands

Knoxville (WVLT) - Knoxville city officials are tallying costs for this weekend’s white supremacist rally after last month’s rally cost taxpayers more than $53,000.

Minus the red carpet, white supremacist were bussed in, said their peace with police protection, then bussed out, all at your expense.

Some residents are questioning why they must fund the cost of hate.

After white supremacists were bussed to and from this weekends rally to speak their message, a more than five hundred dollar bill for the bussing alone is going to the city for you to pay.

"They did bring them on busses. Had prearranged to meet with them and bring them on busses. Again, that was a safety and security thing,” says Knoxville Communications Coordniator Randy Kenner.

That safety issue also cost taxpayers for police protection, protection you have to pay for.

"You have to have people between them and counter protestors because if they mix you are going to have a volatile situation and someone could get hurt or killed, so if there's going to be a rally down there we're going to have a heavy police presence,” Kenner says.

The rally also blocked the main transfer station for those riding Knoxville's Area Transit who were diverted to the station near the UT Conference Center.

"Undoubtedly, the change in the location of the transfer site would have caused some inconvenience for our passengers,” says KAT General Manager Cindy McGinnis.

Especially for Shawen Brown, who says it made him thirty minutes late for work. "It was frustrating because I couldn't figure out where the bus was. I wasn't used to it."

And frustrating for some Knoxville residents who were inconvenienced and had to pay for it.

"Yeah, they can do it if they let them get by with it,” say Knoxvillian Jerry Mink. “Why don't they just tell them no rallies?"

"This is the state of Tennessee. We have a constitution. We're also under the United States constitution. You have the right to free speech,” says Kenner.

Because it was a racial event, even picking the bus drivers was handled with care, as McGinnis says, they used two white male bus drivers for the supremacists.

City officials say they hope to have a tally of this weekend’s costs in just under two weeks.

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  • by Jeanne Location: California on Jun 19, 2007 at 08:40 PM
    How much does it cost to investigate, capture, charge, detain, prosecute and incarcerate blacks who commit thousands of violent crimes a year against white folks (and their own) while the brain-dead media fails to report statistical truths?
  • by Anonymous on Jun 19, 2007 at 06:43 PM
    I think down playing violence hurts all of us because not enough is done, but allowing or supporting people that brings the truth out into the light only helps. So I think this question is insulting.
  • by Charles Location: Knoxville on Jun 19, 2007 at 06:32 PM
    How much oversight would there be if the rally group was La RAZA, NAACP, SPLC, or any other than a causian group?
  • by WN_Riddler on Jun 19, 2007 at 04:17 PM
    What price is it worth for justice for Channon and Chris? What is the price for the major media outlets to speak about this hidious crime? When will Knoxville take a stand against violent crime?
  • by Sharon Location: Knoxville on Jun 19, 2007 at 12:21 PM
    I can uderstand the need for extra law enforcement but I don't see the need for the busses. That almost gives the appearance of aiding this group.
  • by Tora Location: Knoxville on Jun 19, 2007 at 10:34 AM
    No tax payers should'nt be made pay for the stupidity of others, if they want to be stupid let them pay for the ignorance, but that's the point the are so ignorant they probably only make minimum wage. I don't think this kind of thing should be allowed.
  • by Ken Location: Illinois on Jun 19, 2007 at 07:11 AM
    I question the need to bring up such costs. However, if bringing up the cost that protests incur has been historical for you then I have no problem with it. If that is not the case then you, the media, needs to do some soul searching concerning your own deep settled bias and how it affects your ability to honestly witness (report) the news.
  • by Jeffrey Location: Southern California on Jun 19, 2007 at 06:32 AM
    How much does prosecuting the five people that raped and murdered Channon and Chris going to cost? Probably close to $500,000 .
  • by Evan Location: North Dakota on Jun 19, 2007 at 01:56 AM
    What cost is too high to bring justice in Knoxville? How many more thousands of dollars does it cost every year to pay for damages and the incarceration of black (or other minority) criminals? Until the citizens of Knoxville come to realize exactly what is happening, they do nothing but disgrace themselves. The crime committed was racially charged, and that cannot be ignored. White people, Americas dwindling majority, need to take a stand.
  • by Scott Location: USA on Jun 19, 2007 at 01:10 AM
    Wouldn't it be cheaper to: A. Step up normal police patrols and build some more prisons so that we can take the criminals off the streets after their first offense and these crimes won't happen in the first place B. Simply make the 2 rival groups show up on different dates. For example, the white supremists are allowed to show up on Saturday, and the other group is allowed to show up on Sunday. Then we won't need so many police to keep them apart.
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