Member of white-supremacist group pushes York council for rally permit

Associated Press, Nov. 7, 2002

YORK, Pa. – Amid heightened security, a member of a white-supremacist group told city council on Wednesday that the group should be allowed to hold a memorial for a police officer slain during the city’s 1969 race riots.

The Mississippi-based group says it wants to hold “Henry Schaad Day” on Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It has appealed the city’s rejection of an application to hold the rally.

City police officers used metal detectors to check everyone who entered the council chambers on Wednesday.

Gerald J. McManus, a member of the Nationalist Movement, told city council that the group should be allowed to hold the rally to honor fallen police officer Henry Schaad.

There was little response to McManus’ presentation afterward.

The group’s lawsuit says the city’s laws violate the Constitution. It also says the city interfered with the group’s right to free speech.

White supremacist groups have targeted York since city police arrested nine white men, including then-Mayor Charlie Robertson, last year in the shooting of a black woman during the riots. Lillie Belle Allen, 27, of Aiken, S.C., was killed days after Schaad was shot to death.

After 10 hours of deliberation, jurors on Oct. 19 convicted Robert Messersmith and Gregory Neff of second-degree murder in Allen’s slaying. The jury acquitted Robertson.

Two black men also were arrested last year in Schaad’s killing.

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