A small group displaying Nazi symbols gathered Saturday on a bridge above Interstate 45 near downtown and City Hall in Houston.
The group also held a banner that read, “make America white again” alongside one red and one black Nazi flag, a photo of which was posted to social media Saturday. The Houston Police Department was made aware of the banner and flags through at least one call, and one or two officers responded to the scene after 2:30 p.m., spokesperson Jodi Silva said.
“It was very short, and it was very few people,” Silva said.
The flags and banner were displayed near the famed bridge that had graffiti on it reading “Be Someone.”
Perry Shirzad, 31, said he was surprised when he saw the group around 2:45 p.m. while riding in an Uber toward downtown from the Heights, where he lives. Shirzad, who has lived in Houston for around six months, said he has never seen hateful messages like that in the city.
“It’s just sad to see in Houston, this is my favorite city that I’ve lived in,” Shirzad said. “I didn’t think I’d see anything like that in person ever.”
The group also was seen outside Houston’s City Hall, according to video footage shown by a user on X, formerly known as Twitter. A man was seen confronting the group, in which one member had a megaphone and wore a Nazi symbol on his sleeve.
Another man in the group could be seen holding a sign reading, “End Jewish supremacy today.”
Some members of the group also used racial slurs against the man confronting them in the video.
HPD information officer Jodie Silva, when reached Sunday for comment, wasn’t immediately aware of the group gathering to protest at City Hall.
Silva explained the group would have been within its rights to demonstrate at city hall as it is public property. As long as a group is not causing physical harm, it would be acting within its right to freedom of speech, she said.
But, as the video showed, one of the members of the group asked the man confronting them whether he was “willing to die here today for what you believe in?” which could be construed as a threat, but the man who was threatened would have to file a complaint for HPD to look into it further, Silva said.