KKK leader says group was denied police security before Anaheim rally

LOS ANGELES - A Ku Klux Klan leader who was injured when his small group of demonstrators brawled with counter-protesters in a Southern California park this weekend said Monday that he called police beforehand asking for security and was told, "We don't do that.

See Full Article

"

Will Quigg said in an interview with The Associated Press that he contacted the Anaheim Police Department but that the agency denied his requests for a police presence. The KKK then told officers that the group would hire an outside security company.

"They said, 'No, you can't do that either,"' Quigg said.

The Police Department is facing scrutiny for its response after three people were stabbed and several others were injured in the melee Saturday involving several dozen people and spanning a city block. Investigators determined that Klan members acted in self-defence after the counter-protesters attacked.

On Monday night, some 300 people took part in a candlelight vigil and "peace protest" in the same park. The group marched from Pearson Park to City Hall, and although the gathering got loud at times, police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said it remained peaceful.

"There were some people from Saturday's protest who showed up at the end and started yelling, but there was no violence and no need for police intervention," he said.

Organizers said they wanted to show that Anaheim is a peaceful, tolerant city.

The Police Department had notified the public ahead of Saturday's Klan gathering that the KKK planned to hold an anti-immigration protest at the park about 3 miles from Disneyland, but at least one witness said he saw no uniformed officers when the attack began.

When Quigg and about five others arrived they were confronted by dozens of angry counter-protesters.

Wyatt said officers were present, but he declined to say how many. He acknowledged that Quigg had contacted the department but believed that the group leader was asking for police to act as personal security guards.

"He was told how to contract for officers to do that, but did not want to spend the money," Wyatt said.

Eugene O'Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the department's response about contracting officers is as if the KKK rally was the same as "an Oktoberfest or a New Year's Day event."

"It's their way of saying, 'We have no reason to believe there will be any trouble beyond the trouble you get at a rock concert," he said, adding police are obligated to ensure public safety.

Police departments are facing criticism for overpolicing, chilling free speech and being heavy-handed, O'Donnell said. That can make it difficult for officers to know how to handle a protest event.

"Sometimes the best presence is a very low key presence," he said.

Anaheim police said a plan was in place and officers at the protest quickly called for backup when the violence broke out. Additional officers arrived within less than two minutes.

"Officers rendered medical aid to those who were injured and arrested all but one of the suspects," the agency said in a statement.

Five KKK members arrested after the brawl later were released because evidence showed they acted in self-defence, police said. Seven people still in custody were seen beating, stomping and attacking the Klansmen with wooden posts, Wyatt said.

Police said the Klansmen stabbed three counter-protesters.

"Regardless of an individual or groups' beliefs or ideologies, they are entitled to live without the fear of physical violence and have the right, under the law, to defend themselves when attacked," a police statement said.

Quigg said he was thrown to the ground, hit with a pipe, stomped and struck with two-by-fours. He said his right hand was fractured and his spleen and a rib bruised. He said the left side of his chest is "black and blue and swollen up to the size of a softball."

Quigg said he did not stab anyone.

"What was done was done to protect our lives," he said. "Our lives were in jeopardy."

Like many other U.S. cities, Anaheim has a history intertwined with the KKK. In the 1920s, Klan members gained four of five City Council seats but were ousted after their affiliation became public.

The group's presence in the state is extremely small today, said Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Weather experts predict 'normal' summer conditions

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Forget about stifling and dry weather this summer. The Weather Network predicted Wednesday that GTA residents will be spared a repetition of the conditions that made for a sticky summer last year. “This summer won’t be as hot or as dry. Source
  • What we know about the Manchester bomber

    World News CTV News
    Two days after 22 people were killed and 119 more were wounded in an apparent suicide bombing following an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K, details are beginning to emerge about the 22-year-old suspect and his family’s alleged ties to extremist groups in Libya. Source
  • MMIW public inquiry a 'bloody farce': justice minister's father

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould's father is calling the national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women a "bloody farce." Bill Wilson, a hereditary chief, says the commissioners have "failed miserably." The justice minister's office has yet to comment on Wilson's remarks posted on social media. Source
  • Dog found buried alive on Montreal's South Shore Tuesday dies at veterinary clinic

    Canada News CBC News
    The male boxer found buried alive on Montreal's South Shore Tuesday has died. The dog died around 4 p.m. Wednesday, despite the best efforts of the veterinarian whose care he was in to save him. The dog, nicknamed Earthquake and Sugar Ray after he was found Tuesday, had received adoption offers from as far away as B.C. Source
  • Fox News host Sean Hannity accuses watchdog group of 'liberal fascism' in ad shaming

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Sean Hannity says a media watchdog is guilty of “liberal fascism” for targeting advertisers on his Fox News Channel show. One company announced Wednesday that it would no longer advertise there. The Chicago-based Cars.com said it had been watching Hannity’s show closely and decided to suspend its backing. Source
  • 'She should have been safe': Family searching for answers after woman dies in Windsor, Ont. jail

    Canada News CBC News
    Delilah Blair's grieving mother is struggling to understand how her daughter could die in jail – the one place she thought she would always be safe. "When she was incarcerated I could sleep because I knew she wasn't on the streets," said Selina McIntyre. Source
  • Halifax medical student accused of murder was deeply in debt, trial told

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Medical student William Sandeson was deeply in debt and under pressure from his parents about his spending in the weeks before he allegedly murdered another student during a drug deal, a Halifax jury heard Wednesday. Source
  • 'Bittersweet' day for ex-RCMP women as sex-harassment lawsuit nears end

    Canada News CBC News
    Two women who endured years of sexual harassment as RCMP employees expressed mixed emotions as a landmark class-action suit against the force edged Wednesday toward final court approval. Speaking after a settlement hearing, the women expressed hope their long battle would pave the way for a more hospitable RCMP workplace. Source
  • N.S. man's custom-made wheelchair stolen on eve of accident anniversary

    Canada News CTV News
    Bill Beaton’s $5,400 custom-made wheelchair was stolen almost 13 years to the day since his motorcycle accident. “It was so weird that it happened on the eve of my accident,” Beaton told CTV Atlantic. Source
  • Labour, employment code overhaul brings Alberta law into 'mainstream'

    Canada News CBC News
    A proposed overhaul of Alberta's labour and employment standards codes includes job protection for unpaid leaves, a hybrid union certification process and first contract legislation. Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, marks the first time the law has been changed since 1988. Source