Ogden police have heard from three men who say they were among the first to protest when Police Chief Joe Ritchie paid a white supremacist $700 to address officers in November.
James Gillespie, president of the Ogden NAACP; Ira Horton, a retired chemist and black historian, and Jerry Meents, a Jewish Ogden resident who survived the World War II Nazi Holocaust, were invited by Ritchie to address police.Meents said his first reaction to reports that white supremacist Richard Masker had been invited to speak to police about neo-Nazi philosophy and motivation was to wonder if Ritchie had "gone off his rocker."
After talking with the police chief, however, Meents said he understood why the training sessions were important to Ogden police.
The three said they wish they had been asked how they felt about Masker's invitation before he came. They said they would have liked to have been there for one of the three-hour sessions to counter Masker when he said, among other things, that the Holocaust never happened and that AIDS is a man-made virus created by the Soviets.