California KKK rally turns violent (video)
February 29, 2016
Two Ku Klux Klan members were stomped on the ground and three counter protesters were stabbed as violence erupted at an Anaheim KKK rally before the event even started.
On Saturday, a KKK group planned to hold a walking protest at Pearson Park in Anaheim, according to the city’s police department. When six KKK members arrived at the park, about 30 counter protesters were waiting to confront them.
Violence broke out almost immediately after KKK members exited their vehicle. The violence started at approximately 12:10 p.m., about one hour and 20 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the protest.
Video footage shows counter protesters punching and kicking KKK members and attacking them with wooden planks. KKK members fought back with knives and the pointed tip of a flagpole that was holding the American flag.
During the fighting, a person drove off in the KKK vehicle, leaving some of the Klan members behind.
Anaheim police were aware in advance of both the planned KKK protest and the counter protest. Some officers were on scene when the violence began, according to a police department news release. Additional officers arrived with one minute and 36 seconds of the first report of violence.
All three of the stabbing victims are currently in stable condition. One of the stomping victims went to the hospital in stable condition, and the other suffered minor injuries and refused treatment.
Officers arrested five KKK members — four males and one female — for involvement in the stabbings. They were charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Police arrested seven counter protesters — six males and one female — on the charge of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.
After detectives reviewed photos, videos and witness statements, police released five of the suspects, saying they acted in self defense.
The police department says all of the main participants in the incident were arrested, with the exception of one. Officers are still searching for him.
Only one the suspects police arrested is a resident of Anaheim. Police say the others came from other cities and counties in order to insert themselves in the situation.
Following the incident, Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada released a statement saying even unpopular groups are entitled to free speech and freedom of assembly.
“Even if the vast majority of our community disagrees with a particular group who visits our city we cannot stop them from lawfully gathering to express their opinions,” Quezada said. “Violence is not acceptable and we will arrest anybody who assaults another person or commits any other crime in our city.”