The rally came off with out any bloodshed. It is a tribute to the community that the vast majority of local residents stayed home. In fact, the Media out numbered everyone there by a factor of three. Only a hand full of black residents attended saying they had to show the Klan they were not afraid.
The Panthers wanted to attend the rally but were turned away from the barricades twice. The police told them they had failed to get a permit to rally and could not enter as a group. With a half hour to go, the panthers reappeared fully armed and marched past a group of Jasper police officers like they werenít even there.
The officers radioed ahead informing command officers at the court house armed Black Panthers were coming their way. The county judge pulled the permit early and ordered the Klan into the courthouse. In doing so, he probably avoided a very ugly scene. In my opinion that was the best call of the entire situation.
For the most part, the local residents and merchants of Jasper were understanding, friendly and helpful during our stay. The Texas Department of Public Safety officers and Texas Rangers were professional, courteous and friendly at all times.