Friday, November 14, 2008

2nd Day Of Klan Trial

Nov. 13, 2008

Dear Friend,
We heard remarkable testimony at trial today in our case against Ron Edwards, the leader of the Imperial Klans of America (IKA) and his top lieutenant, Jarred Hensley.

A former Klansman stunned the courtroom when he told the jury that Edwards ordered him to kill SPLC founder and chief trial counsel Morris Dees in the late 1990s.

Fortunately, an undercover FBI investigation foiled the plot. The would-be assassin served three years in prison, but Edwards was never charged — and the extent of his involvement had not been disclosed until today.

We also heard testimony today from two Klansmen who were present the night our client, Jordan Gruver, was brutally beaten by IKA members recruiting at a county fair in Brandenburg, Ky. They testified that Edwards is motivated by greed and obsessed with recruiting new members so that he can fill his coffers with donations and membership dues.

You can read full coverage of today's testimony on our blog.

We have long believed that litigation is but one tool we can use to fight injustice and intolerance. We also believe that by reaching children before their minds are filled with bias, we can prevent some of the hatred that resulted in the case we're trying today. We're pleased to report that today an estimated four million students in thousands of schools participated in our annual Mix It Up At Lunch Day and crossed social and racial boundaries by sitting down with someone new at lunch.

Morris and I would like to thank you for your support. We'll continue updating you over the next couple of days as we wrap up the trial.


Richard Cohen
CEO and President

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