Protests Break Out At Debate Featuring Former KKK Leader David Duke [VIDEO]
Things turned tense at last night's senatorial debate at Dillard University in New Orleans where KKK leader David Duke seemed to be at odds with everyone. At one point during the debate Duke lashed out at debate moderator John Snell from FOX 8 television. Outside the building on the campus of the historically black university, protesters spoke out against Dukes involvement in the debate at all. Poll numbers were used to determine eligibility in the debate. Duke had 5% in the particular poll, placing him in the top 7 in the field and earning him a spot at the debate.
At least six arrests were reported after protesters clashed with police and tried to block the road where David Duke was expected to leave debate. Police used pepper spray to break up the crowd as demonstrators attempted to enter the building.
Dillard released the following statement:
"Dillard University honored our commitment as host of tonight's Louisiana Senatorial debate.
"Ultimately, and unfortunately, the selection of the next senator from our state became a secondary issue as the focus centered on the University's response to protests on the campus.
"At no time did Dillard discourage protests; either by students or members of the community. We shared a dual responsibility of providing a safe space for those protesters and for the orderly management of the event.
"As the time of the debate neared, the protests became less peaceful. Some members of the crowd attempted to move past Dillard Police and into the debate area. After repeated requests by officers for the crowd to step back and allow the doors to be closed, individuals then began to force their way into the building.
"As a last resort, DUPD made the decision to use pepper spray to stop the advancement of the crowd. After a second attempt to enter the building, officers again utilized pepper spray as a deterrent.
"For the duration of the debate protesters continued to peacefully assemble outside the building. No arrests were made, though three individuals were briefly detained.
"As the protests were proceeding, Dillard Student Government hosted its own Debate Watch Party in the Student Union. Based on observations, there were roughly 50 protesters on hand. Those numbers were dwarfed by the attendance of the watch party.
"After the conclusion of the debate, a small number of protesters began to block the entryways to the campus. After several requests to disperse, six individuals were arrested for obstructing traffic. One of those six was a Dillard student. They were transported to Central Lockup for booking.
"Dillard University will continue its dialogue with the student body in dealing with the issues brought forth by these events. While tonight was a great challenge, it is also a great opportunity for our University to grow stronger together."