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Klan Returns to Jasper for Rally

October 10, 1998

JASPER, Texas (AP) _ The Ku Klux Klan rallied on the town’s courthouse square Saturday for the second time since this summer’s dragging death of a black man on a rural road.

``We stand for what is right and God stands with us,″ said the Rev. Doc James, grand dragon of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Arkansas.

James and 42 others rallied for white rights in front of the courthouse, where three white men will be tried for the June 7 slaying of James Byrd Jr. Three dozen law officers protected them from a crowd of opponents.

Byrd, 49, was chained to the back of pickup truck by his ankles and dragged along a road for more than two miles.

Organized anti-Klan groups that protested at the Klan’s June 27 rally stayed away Saturday, though about 75 Jasper residents showed up. The mostly black crowd taunted Klan members, but there were no arrests or injuries.

Police believe Lawrence Russell Brewer Jr., Shawn Berry and John William King killed Byrd because he was black.

All three men, who remain jailed without bond, are set for trial on capital murder and kidnapping charges Jan. 25.

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