State police in riot gear rushed a downtown street to break up a standoff Tuesday between hundreds of black and white extremists who exchanged screams of “Black power!” and “White power!” during a protest over the state’s handling of the case of a black man who was run over and dragged by a vehicle.
A skinhead carrying a Nazi flag and a shirtless white man were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of suspicion of disorderly conduct before the protesters separated peacefully, police spokesman Lt. Danny Huff said.
The conflict began with a march by about 100 mostly black activists who avoided a designated “protest zone” near Paris’ courthouse and walked to the town square to chants of “Black Power!” and “No Justice, no peace!”
“We’re going to be boxed in?” said protest leader Jimmy Blackwell of the Tarrant County Local Organizing Committee. “No, we’re not your slaves!”
Once at the town square, the crowd ballooned to about 200 mostly black people on one side of a street. Across the street were about a dozen white supremacists, including four skinheads holding Nazi swastika flags. About 30 other white people were behind them.
The two sides shouted at each other while a dozen or so law enforcement officers kept them apart. After the groups screamed for several minutes and inched closer together, about 35 state troopers wearing helmets and carrying shields marched into the crowd. No blows were exchanged.
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