Whitefish Police Chief ‘Ready For Anything’ With Potential White Power March
Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial says he and his staff are ready for whatever may occur in the event a white power group organizes a march in his community in January.
Dial provided a thumbnail sketch of how the situation began.
"From information that we have gathered, allegedly, a realtor here in Whitefish, who happens to be Jewish, contacted Sherry Spencer, who is Richard Spencer's mother, who owns a building on Lupfer Avenue, and one of Sherry Spencer's clients," Dial began. "Now all of this is alleged, although some has been corroborated. That realtor purportedly told Mrs. Spencer that she should sell her property to the Montana Human Rights Network, and then she, the realtor, would donate part of her commission, as well."
Dial said Mrs. Spencer had no intention of selling her building, and her son, Richard Spencer responded.
"From the information we've received, Mrs. Spencer had no intention of selling the building," he said. "Richard Spencer, her son, is a white nationalist who believes in the western European way of life and supports the white race. Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, even though Richard is their son, they do not agree with his political views. In addition, one of the tenants of the building, the same realtor addressed her with the same issues, and that's basically how this whole thing got started."
Dial said, at that point a website called 'The Daily Stormer' became involved, and proposed a march in Whitefish in January to protest. Dial said, as yet, the group has not officially applied for a permit for such a gathering, but will be ready, if and when one is granted. Dial, in fact, is one of the city officials who would have a say in granting such a permit.
"We'd have to look at the totality of the event," he said. "If we feel it's going to be too disruptive, or any laws broken, then we can make a cooperative decision on it. My take on it right now is that they have the right to demonstrate. I've talked to our city attorney and the attorney general's office and we have a very liberal open-carry (weapons) law in this state. If they comply with everything and don't try to be socially disruptive or do any criminal activities, then they have the right to do that, but once they cross that line then they're looking at some possible intervention by the police."
Dial said he has reached out to the leader of the Daily Stormer website, and hopes they can work things out. Dial's philosophy is to 'hope for the best and plan for the worst'.
As KGVO reported on Tuesday, statewide political leaders issued a letter condemning the philosophy expressed by The Daily Stormer and similar organizations. The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox.