Landmark Case

McKinney v. Southern White Knights

Case Number


Peaceful marchers attacked
On the anniversary of Dr. King's birth in 1987, as an interracial group marched in all-white Forsyth County, Ga., Klansmen throwing rocks and bottles forced the group back.

Center attorneys sued to vindicate the marchers' rights. In October 1988, a federal jury assessed nearly $1 million in damages against two Klan organizations and 11 followers responsible for the attack.

To ensure the Klan felt the financial pressure of the verdict, Center investigators traced the assets of the major Klan defendant, the Invisible Empire, over a five-year period. In 1994, the Invisible Empire was forced to pay damages and disband. The group's office equipment was given to the NAACP.