MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - ABC 24 News first reported a group of Memphis gang members were planning to hold a rally with members of the Ku Klux Klan from Alabama. The rally was to be held the same day local KKK members will protest the renaming of three Memphis parks. Now, the unusual alliance may be ending.
The parks' renaming, including the park named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has created controversy all across the city. It has also created some unlikely unions.
A month ago, Memphian Dajuan Horton, a member of the Grape Street Crips gang, announced plans to team up with a group of KKK members from Alabama. The goal was to hold a counter-rally to oppose a planned Klan rally in Memphis.
We interviewed Horton on February 25th. A day later, Horton says police interviewed him. "The following morning I got a knock on my door. Eight big guys from the gang unit knocked on my door took pictures of my tattoos and all kinds of stuff; that let me know it got serious."
Horton says it became more serious after he received threatening phone calls. "A lot of black people have been calling me coons, dumb n-word. Stuff like that hurts but I'm not going to let it stray me from what I want to do because I want to help my people as a whole."
Horton doesn't want to help the KKK. After more thought, he says the idea of standing side-by-side with Klan members didn't sit well with him. "I am not teaming with the KKK," Horton said on a YouTube video.
According to Horton, he's still communicating with Klan members who oppose the rally, but "it's not like they're getting with me shaking hands, having barbeques and drinking 40's type thing."
Horton does plan to have a barbeque in Harbor Town the same day as the rally. "We'll be on the opposite side of the river enjoying ourselves. Barbequing, having fun, whites, Mexicans," he says. "If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem."
The KKK rally is scheduled for March 30th on the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse.