Brown Presses DOJ for Federal Funding to Help Dayton Cover Cost of Keeping Residents Safe During KKK Rally



 

City of Dayton Spent More Than $650,000 to Maintain Order, Keep Residents and Property Safe

DAYTON, OH – This week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) urging the department to work with Brown’s office and the City of Dayton to determine what federal funding might be available to help Dayton mitigate the cost of protecting Dayton residents during the rally hosted by a Ku Klux Klan (KKK)-affiliated group in May. While the city’s planning and foresight helped ensure no injuries, deaths, or property damage occurred during the rally, the city spent more than $650,000 to keep the city safe.

In his letter, Brown points to events in Charlottesville in 2017 to demonstrate the need for cities like Dayton to take higher security precautions when hate groups come into town and argue that these cities should not have to bear the full burden of these unexpected costs.

“Implementing a security plan for this event required the city to pay overtime to its personnel and bring in law enforcement personnel from other cities. These unexpected costs required the city to reallocate funds, which impacts the city’s capacity to provide essential other services. I, therefore, request that the Department of Justice work with my office and Dayton city officials to determine what funding your department can provide to help mitigate unexpected security costs incurrent in preparing for this event,” wrote Brown.

“We are so glad that this unfortunate rally happened without incident, but in the current climate we knew that our public safety forces would have to take significant precautions to keep people safe. We appreciate Senator Brown’s advocacy on this issue, and hope there is an opportunity for Dayton taxpayers to recoup some of the costs that were incurred in protecting those who showed up to peacefully voice their opposition,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

Brown spoke out ahead of the KKK rally in Dayton, urging Ohioans to remain united in the face of hate.

A copy of Brown’s letter can be found HERE and below.

Dear Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Dummermuth:

Last month, an organization reportedly affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) held a rally in the city of Dayton, Ohio. In preparation for the rally, Dayton city government developed and implemented a plan to ensure the safety and security of its citizens and property during the potentially volatile event. City leaders responsibly strategized to minimize risk and costs by partnering with police departments from across the state to ensure the presence of enough well-trained officers and convinced many local businesses in the area to close during the time of the rally. Fortunately, the city’s planning and foresight resulted in no injuries, loss of life, or property damage associated with the rally. However, the city’s efforts to maintain order did not come without a significant cost, as the city spent over $650,000 of its already limited resources to protect the people of Dayton.

Nearly two years ago, the nation watched in horror as the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, unfolded. That day served as a stark reminder of the type of hate that still exists in this nation and the type of violence and unrest that KKK-affiliated and other white supremacist rallies can bring to a town. The KKK has a long, sad, pathetic, and well-documented history of violence in this nation.  Violence and terror is baked into its very DNA. Given that history and what we saw in Charlottesville, the security precautions taken by Dayton city officials were both reasonable and necessary to protect citizens, law enforcement officers, and demonstrators.

Dayton is an open and welcoming community. KKK rallies, and other similar high-risk events, are an aberration, and is not something the city budgets for. Implementing a security plan for this event required the city to pay overtime to its personnel and bring in law enforcement personnel from other cities.  These unexpected costs required the city to reallocate funds, which impacts the city’s capacity to provide essential other services. I, therefore, request that the Department of Justice work with my office and Dayton city officials to determine what funding your department can provide to help mitigate unexpected security costs incurred in preparing for this event.

What happened in Charlottesville, could happen anywhere, and I am thankful that due to our brave law enforcement officers and the advance preparation by city officials, it did not happen in Dayton last weekend. It is my hope that DOJ can work with my office and the city of Dayton to provide guidance on any available assistance to help the city offset at least some of the costs incurred in maintaining law and order.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or my staffer, Shomari Figures (202-224-2315).

Sincerely,

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