Members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front marched in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon.
TV station CBS4 reported that 75 white males with the group dressed in khakis, dark shirts and face coverings marched through the streets while chanting slogans and beating drums.
Video of the march was tweeted out by Indianapolis resident Brandon Bow.
“Frankly, I think it’s embarrassing were still dealing with these issues. Having armed people in the streets trying to intimidate minorities, and trying to intimidate people around them, [and] too scared to even show their face. I think it’s a level of cowardness and backwardness that shouldn’t be there,” Bow told WISH-TV.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated Patriot Front as a white nationalist hate group. The SPLC said it formed in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., of Aug. 12, 2017. The organization broke off from Vanguard America (VA), a neo-Nazi group that participated in the chaotic demonstration. PF’s founder, Thomas Rousseau, led VA members during “Unite the Right,” including James Alex Fields, Jr., the young man accused of murdering anti-racist protester Heather Heyer after fatally driving his vehicle into a crowd of protesters.
Patriot Front has been linked to an attempted riot at a Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, over the summer and vandalizing Springfield’s Phoenix Center, an LGBTQ community center, last year.
In a statement sent to several TV stations in Indianapolis, Mayor Joe Hogsett condemned the group.
“Hate has no place in Indianapolis. The individuals who marched Downtown yesterday do not represent the values of our community, and we condemn their message in the strongest terms possible.”
WISH-TV reported that the march went from the statehouse to Monument Circle in the center of the city then turned north, coming close to a pro-union event with Democratic Secretary of State candidate Destiny Wells. She called on the state Republican party to condemn the group.
“As an attorney who has dealt with civil rights law, of course they have a first amendment right, but lets think about this. We talk about the days when the KKK used to march down the streets of Indiana, and we have distanced ourselves from that moment in time. I would say we have boomeranged back, where we have those same elements of hate,” Wells told the tv station.