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Decades after Klansmen killed 5 during protest, a North Carolina city's apology comes too late for some

October 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Rev. Nelson Johnson remembers marching in Greensboro in 1979 and the protest's deadly outcome. That's why he's been fighting for decades for an apology.

Over 40 years later, the North Carolina city has formally apologized for the deaths of five people during an attack by Ku Klux Klan members and the American Nazi Party.

Recently, Greensboro City Council voted 7-2 to pass a resolution that said the Greensboro Police Department "failed to warn the marchers of their extensive foreknowledge of the racist, violent attack planned against the marchers by members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party with the assistance of a paid GPD informant. "

Additionally, the resolution said the police didn't do anything to stop or arrest the members of the KKK and American Nazi Party as they approached the housing development where the protesters gathered, despite knowing they were armed.

The resolution acknowledges that the Greensboro Police Department knew about the planned attack by the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party but failed to warn the marchers from the Communist Workers Party (CWP).

"I find myself in the difficult, indeed impossible, position this evening of being in support of a formal Resolution of Apology but unable to support this resolution based on its language indicting the City of Greensboro Police Department and other City personnel for an event that occurred 41 years ago and one which has been exhaustively investigated and vetted," Hoffmann said during last week's meeting and in a statement to CNN.

In 2009, a Greensboro City Council statement of regret was passed, according to Hoffmann, with which she and Abuzuaiter were personally involved through their work and membership on the city's Human Relations Commission. Then, after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one person was killed and 19 were hurt after a speeding car drove into a crowd of counterprotesters ahead of the "Unite the Right" rally of White nationalists and other right-wing groups, an apology motion was made.

Last year, Johnson formed a group of religious leaders, participants and eyewitnesses to the events of 1979 to meet with members of the city council to craft a resolution.

The resolution also says that every year, the City of Greensboro will honor and award five graduating seniors at James B.

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