This morning, INDY reporter Sarah Willets was at the Durham County Courthouse, where she heard that Sheriff Mike Andrews had confirmed that a hate group—possibly the Klan—was going to hold a demonstration at noon.

A few minutes ago, Durham City Council member Jillian Johnson and Scott Holmes, the attorney representing the eight who were arrested for toppling a Confederate monument Monday, tweeted that it’s happening. Willets reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for confirmation. Spokeswoman Tamara Gibbs responded with a statement attributed to Andrews:

“The Sheriff’s Office is thoroughly researching the potential of several groups with opposing viewpoints holding demonstrations in Durham. This is partly why the Sheriff’s Office continues to remind demonstrators to first obtain a permit and most importantly, abide by the law. I expect demonstrators to conduct themselves in such a manner that is legal and respectful of the Durham County community. Again, I call upon city and county leaders to establish rules for demonstrators.”

We are hearing that several downtown Durham retailers will be closing early. Scratch Kitchen and Chet Miller have already confirmed to the INDY that they are.

The INDY called several Durham County departments, but those calls went unanswered. Calls to the county manager and Board of Commissioner chairwoman Wendy Jacobs have not been returned. A county spokeswoman says the following offices have been closed because of the potential rally.

  • Durham County Administration Building
  • Durham Criminal Justice Resource Building
  • Durham County Engineering and Environmental Services
  • Judicial Annex (corner of Parrish and Roxboro Street)

This is a developing story. We’ll update as we learn more.