Rally to support Nebraskan in DC controversy

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Sunday, people rallied in Lincoln to show support for a Native American from Nebraska who ended up in the middle of a controversy in Washington D.C.

Multiple viral videos show Omaha tribe elder Nathan Phillips beating on his drum, face to face with a teen wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, who was with other students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky.

There has been a lot of controversy about what led to the confrontation.

Video shows Phillips approaching the teens playing his drum.

He says he was trying to keep the peace between the students and another group who was shouting insults at them.

On Sunday, nearly 100 people gathered outside of the State Capitol Building to rally in support of the Omaha tribe elder, Nathan Phillips.

But students involved in the incident say, there are two sides to the story.

Dozens of people gathered outside of the State Capitol to rally, sing, and pray for the Omaha tribe elder Nathan Phillips.

10/11 NOW spoke with a friend of Phillips, who organized the rally.

She says Phillips was just trying to DE-escalate a potentially dangerous situation.

"From everything else that I am hearing, he was very successful at doing that,” said Omaha Tribe of Nebraska member, Renee Sans Souci.

On Sunday, Phillips told The Associated Press that he felt compelled to get between a group of black religious activists and largely white students with his ceremonial drum.

An extended video shows Phillips and some of the men he was with approach the group of teenagers.

A letter sent to the CBS affiliate in Cincinnati by one of the students says Phillips and his group, "forced their way into the center of the group,” And his classmate was, "smiling and enjoying the experience".

Covington Catholic High School where the boys go to school, also responded to the event saying, "We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips,” Adding the matter is being investigated and the school will, "Take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion".

Sans Souci says Sunday's rally was about bringing everyone together.

"The idea here, what we wanted to see happen, to bring that sense of unity,” said Sans Souci.

The student in the middle of the video released a statement today, he says that he believed by standing there and not saying anything, he was helping to diffuse the situation.