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Group protests for removal of Confederate statue at Harrison County Courthouse

Updated: Sep. 4, 2020 at 6:54 AM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A planned protest for the removal of the Confederate statue at the Harrison County Courthouse on Thursday barely avoided violence.

The protest was organized by people who want to see the statue come down. They are calling for the Harrison County Board of Supervisors to have a vote on whether to take down a statue of a Confederate soldier at the courthouse in Gulfport.

That group was then joined by other local and state activist groups, including Mississippi Rising and others wanting to see it change.

What began as a quiet peaceful event became tense when a group of armed individuals, who said...
What began as a quiet peaceful event became tense when a group of armed individuals, who said they were with the Southern Defense Force arrived.(WLOX)

What began as a quiet peaceful event became tense when a conservative group, who identified as the Southern Defense Force, arrived. The group said they were not there to take a stance on the statue, but rather to protect people if things got out of control.

One of the protest organizers, Jeffrey Hulum III, of Extend a Hand Help A Friend organization, expressed concern about their presence at the protest, which started an argument.

“If any of these people that support this monument, and you’re not armed, tries to take a shot at you, I’ll jump in front of you.” said one of the statue’s defenders, Larry Satchfield of Gulfport.

Hulum responded by reaching behind himself and pulling out a handgun and said, “I stay armed, nobody is going to threaten me.”

Jeffrey Hulum III reaches for his gun while talking to Larry Satchfield of Gulfport, left, and...
Jeffrey Hulum III reaches for his gun while talking to Larry Satchfield of Gulfport, left, and Jay Knowles of Pass Christian.(WLOX)

He quickly holstered his weapon without pointing it at anybody.

That brought out emotions on both sides and a shouting match ensued between supporters and opponents of the statue, including one man who called the conservative group “cowards.” One member of the group then called the man a “disgrace to the whole country.”

In the end, people calmed down, agreed they had both made their point, and peacefully left without incident.

A statement released earlier Thursday by the Harrison County Board of Supervisors said:

“The board is still investigating the potential relocation of the monument at the Courthouse. Unfortunately, the Board Attorney advises that the statutes applicable to the monument limits the Board’s authority to act.”

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