Senators want answers on Statehouse security after protests

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers plan a hearing this week to ask officials why the Ku Klux Klan and New Black Panthers Party were allowed to hold rallies at the Statehouse at the same time earlier this month.

State Sen. John Courson told The State newspaper ( ) that the number of officers needed to protect people at the dueling July 18 rallies was the largest police presence he has seen at the capitol in 30 years as a legislator.

Five people were arrested, and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says the crowd nearly got out of control.

Courson says he wants to protect free speech rights, but also wants to know why safety isn’t a concern when issuing permits to protest.

The Senate Statehouse Committee meets Tuesday afternoon.


Information from: The State,

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