Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s proposal to remove as soon as possible the two Confederate statues from Lexington’s Cheapside Park and move them to Veterans Park is triggering a strong reaction from white supremacists. A group is even planning to mount a protest against the proposed moving of the Confederate statues.
Matthew Heimbach, founder of the “Traditionalist Worker Party”, told local media that he and other white supremacists are thinking of coming to Lexington to protest the removal of the statues.
Lexington officials said protesters do not permit to gather in public places in the city. They can not, however, block streets, sidewalks, or engage in unruly behavior.
Lexington Police chief Mark Barnard has been coordinating with Charlottesville police chief to discuss safety issues.
Chief Barnard said they will be ready for various types protesters, whether those are people feeling passionate about a certain issue, or they are professional protesters who would want to come in and fight.
The discussion between Lexington and Charlottesville police chiefs comes after some regrets were noted by the police in the handling of the chaos in the Charlottesville rally over the weekend, especially on plans that were not followed leading to the unfortunate death of three people.
Barnard also shared that no matter how much intelligence they gather about the groups planning to protest and know their past behavior, and even if they have all the planning and training, it is still hard to predict what will happen on the actual day of protests.
Heimbach has not yet specified when he plans to hold the rally in Lexington. He only shared to local media that the goal is to have it sooner than later. This comes after Mayor Gray has announced that he proposed to the council to expedite the move of the Confederate statues in part as a response to the chaos that happened in the Charlottesville rally and as a sanction in some ways against white supremacists.