Five members and associates of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of America were arrested last week on robbery charges in Union County, Mississippi. Three of the suspects in the January 16 crime are convicted felons, further evidence that Klan groups tend to attract people with criminal histories or proclivities.
The Union County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from the intended victim on January 16, and the responding deputies were able to interrupt a robbery near the Mt. Zion Church northeast of New Albany, Mississippi. According to Sheriff Jimmy Edwards, a female suspect lured the victim to the church where he was threatened and robbed of his cell phone and wallet. When the deputies arrived, the suspects fled the scene, leaving behind two vehicles.
Chuck Edwards of Pleasant Ridge, Katie Lynn Broderick of Saltillo, Jeremy Smithey of Dumas, Corey Stone Grose of New Albany and William Devon Page of Pleasant Ridge were arrested on charges related to the robbery. Four of the five suspects — Edwards, Broderick, Grose and Page — are known members of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of America.
On November 5, 2016, Edwards, Broderick, Grose and Page
participated in a neo-Nazi rally on the steps of Pennsylvania’s capitol building in Harrisburg. The event, which attracted approximately 50 white supremacists, was organized by the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement, the largest neo-Nazi group in the country. During the rally, the speakers ranted about topics such as illegal immigration and globalization, and praised then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
This small Klan group is an iteration of the North Mississippi White Knights (NMWK), led by Steven Shane Howard, a long-time Klansman and neo-Nazi. Howard’s recent move to Vancouver, Washington, expanded the (newly renamed) White Knights of the KKK of America to the Pacific Northwest.
Individuals connected to the Klan movement have been convicted of a wide range of crimes, from murder to assault. This particular incident appears to have been motivated by financial gain — unrelated to Klan ideology.