Police confront protesters as rumor of KKK march brings crowd out in Durham

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Durham police in riot gear confronted protesters near police headquarters downtown Friday around 6:30 p.m. The protest had been going on since mid-morning after rumors began circulating of a KKK march.

The latest:
*Police confront protesters - 1 arrest
* Durham Mayor says protesters were reacting to rumors of a KKK march
* Sheriff urges people to remain calm

City and county officials said no permits for any march were issued and are told protesters to stay out of the street. Protesters fell back back as police advanced. One person was seen on camera being arrested.

The crowds began gathering outside of the Old Courthouse around 11:30 a.m. ABC11's crew on the scene saw several protesters armed with guns, axes and other weapons, but there was no violence.

There was a heavy police presence outside of the courthouse ahead of the protest, but as demonstrators converged on the area the police initially backed off.

Speaking live on ABC11, Durham Mayor Bill Bell said the protesters were reacting to rumors. Also speaking live on ABC11, Sheriff Andrews urged people to remain calm and not overreact.

County officials sent some workers home and have told people to avoid the downtown area. Durham Police blocked off several streets in the area and multiple downtown businesses closed. Traffic was a mess.

Many of the protesters gathered around what remains of a Confederate monument outside the Old Courthouse that was pulled down by protestors Monday. One protestor Friday scrawled "Death to the Klan" with a marker on the granite base.
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