WESTHAMPTON BEACH - Police were prepared for the worst Sunday after reports that the Ku Klux Klan planned to protest a Black Lives Matter rally in Westhampton Beach.
Organizer Vanessa Vascez-Corleone says that when she heard about pamphlets from the KKK being passed out in the town, she thought it was important to stage the rally at the Village Roundabout.
"By them passing out these fliers, they're bringing the Black Lives Matter to where they're at because it's showing everybody that there is racism in our own backyard," she says.
Vascez-Corleone says she received word through a media outlet that members of the KKK - a nationally-recognized white supremacy group - discredited her movement and planned to disrupt Sunday's rally. This sparked local safety concerns, with some stores closing down for the day.
Local police also stepped up security, fearing the protests could turn violent. Despite the fear, nearly 100 people showed up to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
A Westhampton Beach village trustee confirmed reports that the KKK may have had intentions to show up to the event.
Despite the speculation, no one appeared wearing the traditional Klan sheeted garb or publicly protested the rally.
The organizers of the Black Lives Matter rally say they hope to hold more peaceful protests in the future and that racial tensions between black community members and police and others will improve.