A few days ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center won a $2.5. million dollar verdict against a Kentucky-based Ku Klux Klan group for the brutal beating of 16-year-old Jordan Gruver.
Gruver was attending the Meade County Fair in Brandenburg (a small town located right outside Fort Knox) when he was attacked by IKA (Imperial Klans of America) Klansmen who were there to hand out KKK recruiting leaflets. According to the SPLC's website:
The jury deliberated for nearly seven hours before delivering the verdict against IKA Imperial Wizard Ron Edwards and two former IKA members, Jarred Hensley and Andrew Watkins, both of whom served two years in state prison for assaulting Gruver. The SPLC earlier reached settlements with Watkins and one other Klansman.
The verdict included $1.5 million in compensatory damages — apportioned among Edwards, Hensley and Watkins — and $1 million in punitive damages against Edwards.
The SPLC argued in court that the Edwards and the IKA incited the racial hatred that led to the attack at the Meade County Fair in Brandenburg in July 2006.
Several Klansmen were at the fair on a recruiting mission when they spotted Gruver, who is a U.S. citizen of Panamanian descent. They threw whisky in his face and called him a "spic." Gruver, who stood 5-foot-3 and weighed just 150 pounds at the time, was surrounded, beaten to the ground and kicked by the Klansmen, one of whom was 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds. He was left with a broken jaw and arm, two cracked ribs and multiple cuts. He now suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome and has permanent arm and jaw injuries.
During the trial, the SPLC demonstrated how the IKA and Edwards fostered an atmosphere of hate and violence. The IKA's compound in Dawson Springs, Ky., is home to Nordic Fest, an annual music festival that brings together Klansmen, skinheads and members of other violent hate groups.
Edwards and Hensley's numerous tattoos were visible during the courtroom proceedings, including "Fuck S.P.L.C." [Southern Poverty Law Center], "Death to ZOG" [Zionist-occupied government] and "Aryan Justice." Hensley has the word “violence” tattooed on his knuckles, “murder” on his neck, and a swastika on his arm.
According to their own websites, the Kentucky IKA has taken part in Louisville meetings with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a frightening group which are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun:
"Members of the IKA including an Imperial Officer attended the June 16-17 Council of Conservative Citizens conference in Louisville, Kentucky. There were many exemplary speakers at this event (Don Black, Paul Fromm, Sam Dickson, Col. Robt. Slimp, Dr. Ed Fields, James Edwards, Dr. Brent Nelson, Kevin Lamb, and others) and there was music to enjoy as well. Don't let the word "Conservative" or the formal attire give you the wrong idea – these gentlemen aren't your typical conservative buffoons. The speeches given were absolutely revolutionary and quite informative. The IKA made many important contacts networking at the conference which will prove beneficial to future endeavors."
The IKA's Kentucky compound had previously been raided in 1999 by the FBI, the ATF, and the Kentucky State Police, and Edwards made a bizarre rant about it on his website here.
The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups. You can help support them with your donations by clicking here.