GW senior Chris Johnson was one of three people arrested for leaping over four-foot police barricades during Saturday’s anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in Annapolis.
“I don’t do things halfway,” explained Johnson, an economics major. “I got caught up in the moment.”
Johnson was arrested by Maryland state police and charged with disorderly conduct for failure to obey a lawful order. He was released Saturday afternoon after promising to appear in court. He has never been arrested before, he said.
Police barricades and buses were positioned between the KKK and the opposition at the rally. The two groups were unable to see one another.
“I decided that I wanted to see what was going on,” Johnson said. “The whole point was to let them (the KKK) feel stupid, to let them be seen by us. They should know that people don’t like them.”
Johnson insisted that he did not plan to fight physically with the Klansmen. He only wanted to be seen, he said.
“I wanted them to speak to me and tell me why the white man is superior to other races,” Johnson said. “Even if they had hit me, I would have fallen down and been hit. For me it wasn’t a violent thing, it wasn’t angry.”
Johnson was apprehended by police after climbing to the ground on the KKK side of the plastic wall. He was led away, handcuffed and taken to the sheriff’s office.
“I spent about four or five hours in jail with this other guy,” Johnson said. “He was a little strange, telling me the whole time about how Ronald Reagan was the evil force of society. He said that Ronald Reagan wanted to besiege the black man with drugs.”
After his release, Johnson got a ride to the New Carrollton Metro station and returned to campus.
Johnson said that he hopes to be represented by an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union. He believes the charges will be dismissed, he said.
“I think they just wanted to charge me with something,” Johnson said. “There was probably an arrest quota or something.”
Johnson was disappointed so few protesters followed him over the barricade, he said.
“I think they (the KKK) would have run away if they could have seen that they were outnumbered,” Johnson said. “They seem to be a bunch of cowards.”