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Local leaders work to prevent a Charlottesville-like rally in Wisconsin

Could the racially charged violence that erupted in Charlottesville over the weekend ever happen in Wisconsin? That's the question that CBS 58 News posed to local and state leaders.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says there are 9 so-called 'hate groups' active in Wisconsin.

"That's a concern everywhere in this country," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

In response to the Charlottesville melee, Chief Flynn says his police department has extensive training managing protests.

"We try to give them a wide enough berth to exercise their constitutional rights while managing them at the same time," Flynn said. 

The map by Southern Poverty Law Center shows what they call hate groups in the state including "The New Order" which is self-proclaimed National Socialists. 

Group leaders say they aren't Nazis but followers of Hitler. Their website lists their contact as a PO Box in Milwaukee. The New Berlin Police Department says their founder, Mathias Kohel, lived in New Berlin until he died in 2014.

Chief Flynn says the hatred shown by white supremacist groups is disturbing and the worst he's seen in his career in law enforcement.

"Every one of these tragedies the rest of law enforcement learns from."

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