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article imageProtests in Texas over the dragging death of a black man

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By KJ Mullins     Jul 21, 2009 in Crime
Texas state riot police have their hands full dealing with both black separatists and white supremacists in Paris, Texas. The two groups are protesting the death of a black man being dragged to death.
On Tuesday the New Black Panther Party begin to assemble at the courthouse in Paris after two white men's murder charges had been dropped in the dragging death of Brandon McClelland, 24, in September.
On the other side of the spectrum were the Ku Klux Klan. They have shown up each time the Panthers and the Nation of Islam have protested in front of the courthouse.
Residents of Paris have tried to stay away from the courthouse. They are not that happy about the attention that is coming to their town from either side of the protests.
Tuesday's protest swelled to about 200 black people on one side of the street and about a dozen white supremacists on the other. An additional 30 white people were behind the dozen, some of which were holding Nazi flags. It was unclear if the others were supporting the dozen or merely watching the situation.
AP reports:
"We're not here for confrontation. We are peaceful people, but if necessary we are prepared," said black protest leader Jimmy Blackwell.
The rally in the town about 90 miles northeast of Dallas is the third protest dealing with the case since last month. At that time the murder charges were dropped against the two white men that had been arrested in the case.
During the conflict Tuesday two white men were arrested after they exchanged words with a deputy.
Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley had been charged with the murder of McClelland by dragging the man's body for over 70 feet underneath Finley's pickup.
A special prosecutor dismissed the charges against the men last month citing a lack of evidence after a gravel truck truck stated it was possible that he had run over McClelland.
The trial would have started this Friday in another town.
Both Finley and Crostley have said that they are innocent.
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