Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How Did Police Deal with KKK Rally? Questions after California Brawl

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How Did Police Deal with KKK Rally? Questions after California Brawl

Article excerpt

The Ku Klux Klan "have a right to their views and beliefs, but that doesn't mean they're welcomed here," Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait told hundreds of peace protesters Monday night.

In the wake of a Saturday rally that turned violent, members of the white supremacist group criticized police for insufficient protection. A lawyer for counter-protesters arrested at the melee has also blamed police, alleging that thin police presence hurt his clients.

Twelve people were arrested near Anaheim's Pearson Park on Saturday afternoon after three counter-protesters at a planned KKK rally were stabbed by Klansmen. Police later released all five Klan members taken into custody, saying they were acting in self-defense after counter-protesters attacked them. Seven people were arrested for beating and stomping on KKK members.

Will Quigg, a leader of the West Coast section of the Loyal White Knights, a major KKK group, accused officers of refusing to provide protection when the group informed them about the rally ahead of time. "We don't do that," Mr. Quigg says police told him. He told reporters that Anaheim police also refused to let the KKK hire their own security guards.

On video, someone is seen kicking Quigg in the face. He said his right hand is fractured, and that he has a bruised rib and spleen. "What was done was done to protect our lives?" he asked, adding that he had not stabbed anyone. "Our lives were in jeopardy."

Some witnesses have said that they did not see officers present at the start of the confrontation around noon. A video shows officers arriving minutes after Klansmen were attacked, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Anaheim Sgt. Daron Wyatt said that officers believed the KKK was asking for personal security guards, and were unwilling to pay for that service. Police have said that officers were present from the start, and called for backup, which arrived within minutes, when the violence began.

A lawyer for three counter-protesters arrested Saturday claims his client Hugo Contreras' arm was broken as police took him into custody, and that the three were trying to restrain, not attack, a Klansman who had stabbed someone. …

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