LAS VEGAS, N.M. — When Mayor Louie Trujillo learned about a proposed exhibit of religious relics in the city museum purportedly linked to a group of hooded nightriders from the late 1800s, he wasn’t sure it was a good idea.

Trujillo said he tried to keep an open mind. He studied up on the exhibit at the City of Las Vegas Museum and met with organizers and others who had a hand in approving the display — which, according to city officials, failed to go through the proper channels.

Everything changed, Trujillo said, when photos appeared on Facebook of three men wearing white hoods and standing and kneeling in front of the exhibit before it opened.

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Tyree Torrence of Las Vegas, N.M., with his girlfriend Samantha Martinez. Torrence said he was repulsed when he saw photos of men wearing hoods in the City of Las Vegas Museum.



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Shane Flores of Las Vegas, N.M., who developed a new exhibit at the City of Las Vegas Museum, defends it during an interview Friday in Las Vegas' Historic El Fidel Hotel. The exhibit is drawing criticism for its links to a group of nightriders known as Las Gorras Blancas, or the 'white caps.'

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Mayor Louie Trujillo on the plaza Friday in Las Vegas, N.M. Trujillo opposes a controversial new exhibit at the City of Las Vegas Museum.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

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