Police in Denton are condemning two "hate ingrained" incidents that happened in the city in late July, adding in a newly released statement that the two are not related.
On July 27, police say a white supremacist group staged a protest outside the Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton where a book fair was being held. The book fair was being led by anarchists, police said.
The group covered their faces, lit red flares, and chanted "Reclaim America". Police say the group, which was not identified in the updated letter to citizens, left the city within five minutes after police were called.
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"It is important to note that this group performed a "flash" protest, a known tactic utilized by the group," police said.
The next night, a group of four people reportedly attacked a manager inside Harvest House. One of the suspects had a swastika tattoo, police said.
Jed Bell works at the barber shop near Harvest House.
"I’m glad they [police] have come out with any kind of condemnation of that behavior," Bell said. "Here in this city, we do not want that type of violence. That has nothing to do with who we are as people, for sure."
Police say the incidents are not related.
"This does not in any way, shape or form negate the fact that we had two incidents in our city that had facets of hate engrained in them," according to Denton police.
They're now working with several organizations to "identify, address, and drive out hate." One of the groups is the Anti-Defamation League in Dallas.
"We may bring in specialists to the metroplex who can talk about specific hate groups, trends. We're releasing a lot of reports particularly on white supremacy flyer-ing on college campuses," said Regional Director Cheryl Drazin.
Police are working with the NAACP, LULAC, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and the DISD.