Texas: Protesters Rally Over Dragging Death

State police in riot gear rushed a downtown street in Paris to break up a standoff between hundreds of protesters who exchanged screams of “Black power!” and “White power!” Two white men, one carrying a Nazi flag, were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of suspicion of disorderly conduct. It was the third courthouse protest over the death of Brandon McClelland, 24, whose body was found Sept. 16 after he was run over by a vehicle and dragged beneath it. A prosecutor cited a lack of evidence in dropping murder charges last month against two white men arrested in his death.
US police thwart race riot fears (AP).

Police in full riot gear charged down a street in Texas, to break up a potentially explosive stand-off between hundreds of black and white protesters.

A skinhead carrying a Nazi flag and a shirtless white man were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct before the protesters separated peacefully, police said, and there were no reports of injuries.

The conflict began with a march through the centre of Paris, 30 miles north-east of Dallas, by about 100 mostly black activists who were protesting against the state’s handling of the case of a black man who was run over and dragged by a vehicle.

The demonstrators avoided a designated “protest zone” near the court and marched to the town square, chanting: “Black power” and “No justice, no peace”.

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 whites were behind them, but it was unclear if they were protesting or watching.

The two sides shouted at each other while about a dozen police were in the street keeping them apart. After several tense minutes of screaming and the groups inching closer together, about 35 state troopers wearing helmets and carrying shields marched swiftly into the crowd. No blows were exchanged.

The rally is the third court protest over the death of 24-year-old Brandon McClelland, whose mangled body was found on September 16 on a country road outside the town.

A prosecutor cited a lack of evidence in dropping murder charges last month against two white men arrested over his death.

The protest was led by members of the Houston chapters of the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party. The Panthers, based in Washington, advocate exemption from taxes and military service for black Americans. They also call for all blacks to be released from prison.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre considers the Panthers and the Chicago-based Nation of Islam black separatist and hate groups.(UKPA)

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