Ku Klux Klan
| Bradley Jenkins|
| White supremacy
Dawson Springs, Kentucky, U.S.
The Imperial Klans of America, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist organization styled after the original Ku Klux Klan (KKK). In 2008, it was reported that the IKA had the nation's second largest KKK membership.
The IKA, headed by Ron Edwards, claims to be the sixth era of the Ku Klux Klan. Members of the 6th era, like members of previous eras, claim constitutional rights as part of the "Unorganized Militia". The IKA claims to stand upon Supreme Court decisions in favor of previous Klans. They are headquartered near Dawson Springs, Kentucky and claim external Imperial Klan offices in Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and South Africa, as well as throughout Europe and South America.
In 2011, a recurring hoax concerning the IKA endorsing Barack Obama was once again exposed as a farce based on a parody website's humorous reporting. In fact, in 2008, Ron Edwards was quoted as supporting John McCain.
Imperial Klans of America Wikipedia
In 2010, the leader of the IKA, Ron Edwards and his girlfriend, Christine Gillettewas were arrested for possession and distribution of controlled substances, including hydrocodone and methamphetamine. After Ron Edwards was arrested, the Supreme White Alliance, a white power skinhead group that had been assisting the IKA with annual hate rock gatherings, broke ties with the IKA.
In July 2006, 3 IKA members beat Jordan Gruver, a 16-year-old of Native American and Panamanian descent at a Kentucky county fair. In February 2007, IKA members Jarred Hensley and Andrew Watkins were convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for beating Gruver. The Southern Poverty Law Center also filed a civil suit on Gruver's behalf in Meade County, Kentucky against IKA "Imperial Wizard" Ron Edwards and the IKA for the actions of the IKA members. Morris Dees, together with William F. McMurry of Louisville, Kentucky, represented Jordan Gruver in the trial against the IKA. On November 14, 2008, a jury of seven men and seven women awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages to Gruver against Edwards. Edwards appealed against the ruling, and the court overturned the decision on January 14, 2011, sending it to a second trial in the original court venue. His appeal was ultimately denied by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
During the case, the SPLC received nearly a dozen threats "promising the most dangerous threat" ever faced. A July 2007 letter allegedly came from Hal Turner, a white supremacist talk show host. In 2007, Turner was shown on CNN speaking at an event held on the IKA Headquarters' grounds. On the second day of the civil trial, a former member of the IKA testified that the Klan had told him to kill Southern Poverty Law Center chief attorney Morris Dees.
The IKA was featured on National Geographic's "Inside American Terror" in 2008 and by The History Channel's Gangland in 2009.