Person v. Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Shutting down Klan paramilitary camps
Bearing guns and dressed in paramilitary uniforms, members of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (a.k.a. Confederate Knights of the Ku Klux Klan) terrorized a black prison guard and his family in 1982. They pointed guns and shouted racial slogans at a white woman who invited black friends to her home. A black woman was nearly run off the road. A man on his way to work was harassed on a dead-end road.
One African American man quit his job and left the state, but Bobby Person, the black prison guard, became the lead plaintiff in the Center's lawsuit against the Klan. Person's harassment began after he complained that whites were unfairly being promoted over him at his job.
During the litigation, the Klansmen continued harassing and threatening the plaintiffs, resulting in the court issuing an order prohibiting any person from blocking hallways and doorways or otherwise interfering with other persons inside the federal courthouse.
On January 18, 1985, the Court issued a consent order that prohibited Glenn Miller, the group's Grand Dragon, and members of the group from training and operating a paramilitary organization; marching or parading in black neighborhoods; and harassing, intimidating, threatening or harming any black person or white person who associates with black persons. The plaintiff's claims for damages were dismissed and the Consent Decree was made final in September.
Less than a year later, however, Miller and others were found guilty of criminal contempt for violating the consent order and North Carolina state law. Having changed the group's name to the White Patriot Party, Miller resumed paramilitary operations and Klan business as usual. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison, six months suspended sentence and 3 years probation during which he could not associate with any members of the White Patriot Party or other racist groups.
Refusing to accept the court-ordered exile from the white supremacist movement, Miller went underground, declared war on Jews and the federal government and was again arrested and served three years in federal prison on a weapons charge.
01/18/1985: Consent decree approved
07/25/1986: Criminal contempt verdict issued
08/16/1988: Contempt verdict upheld by Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (854 F.2d 656)