Suing the KKK: Klan Under Fire

Hensley, 24, the Grand Titan of the group, has appeared on CNN to discuss the Klan and has created a Yahoo screen name (ohioss88) and MySpace account name (violence) to reflect his supremacist mission, according to court papers. Watkins, 26, was a member of the IKA music group known as the Totenkof Saints — German for "death's head" — and performed songs like "No Mercy," which called for the murder of nonwhites, including "spics."

Payback Time

A Meade County grand jury in September indicted the two men on second-degree assault charges for a hate crime, alcohol intoxication in a public place and disorderly conduct.

In February, Hensley and Watkins were sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree assault. On the same day, Gruver filed a civil lawsuit for damages against the defendants with the help of the SPLC, saying that he had endured physical pain and emotional distress and feared future attacks by IKA members, according to the complaint.

SPLC's additional filing this week alleges that the IKA is also responsible for the beating because it knew or should have known that there would be racial and ethnic minorities at the county fair, and that it was "reasonably likely" that its members would act against these individuals.

A phone message to the Imperial Klans of America was not immediately returned. Attorneys for Hensley and Watkins could not be reached for comment and have not yet replied to the lawsuit.

'No Mercy' for the Klan

The SPLC has brought down about 10 of the nations' largest and most violent white supremacist organizations over the last 25 years by helping victims of racial violence sue for monetary damages.

Its recent court victories include a $9 million dollar verdict against four white Texan men who beat a mentally challenged black man, causing him permanent brain damage, and a $37.8 million verdict (later reduced to $21.5 million) against the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (the largest verdict ever against a hate group.)

It wrote that its courtroom costs are funded entirely by its supporters and that it takes no legal fees from clients.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...