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

  • Trump to name prominent climate change denier as environmental chief

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a source close to Pruitt said Wednesday. Pruitt, a 48-year-old Republican, has been a reliable booster of the fossil fuel industry and an outspoken critic of what he derides as the EPA's "activist agenda. Source
  • It may be 'foolish' to ignore Trump's tweets, even when they look like 'fluff'

    World News CBC News
    Here are some words sent from Donald Trump's Twitter account that, depending on who you talk to, did or didn't matter in the last two weeks. "Cancel order!" he wrote about Boeing's Air Force One development contract. Source
  • Hatchimals: this year's Christmas blockbuster toy — and a Canadian innovation

    Canada News CBC News
    Quick. Can you name the Canadian toy company that's growing faster than Mattel, Hasbro and Lego? No need to worry if you can't. But ask any child between three and nine years old and they probably can. Source
  • OPP asked to investigate 2 more deaths at nursing home where Elizabeth Wettlaufer worked

    Canada News CBC News
    Police have been asked to expand their investigation into a nurse accused of killing eight elderly patients after two more families expressed concern about the "unexpected" deaths of relatives who lived at a facility where Elizabeth Wettlaufer worked, a London, Ont. Source
  • Provinces urged to help solve unfixed safety recalls

    Canada News CBC News
    Provincial governments across Canada are missing an opportunity to improve auto safety by not checking for unfixed or open safety recalls when owners register their vehicles, experts say. While most provinces require a safety or mechanical inspection before a vehicle changes hands, none check for outstanding safety recalls or insist that they be fixed. Source
  • Joe Biden drops in for a visit without any gifts: Chris Hall

    Canada News CBC News
    He's just a few weeks away from becoming just another ordinary Joe. But that's not stopping U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden from making an official visit to Ottawa, where the Canadian government will roll out the red carpet. Source
  • $1B RCMP overtime bill proof of 'exhausted and depressed' members, retirees say

    Canada News CBC News
    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has paid its members more than $1 billion of overtime since 2009, according to documents obtained by CBC News. Recent retirees from the force say the costs confirm anecdotes that many officers are stressed, overworked and depressed. Source
  • 'Iconic' woman who will be featured on Canadian bill unveiled today

    Canada News CBC News
    The name of the first Canadian woman to be featured on an upcoming banknote will be unveiled today. The denomination of the bill which will feature the as-yet unnamed woman will also be announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz at a news conference in Ottawa. Source
  • Conservatives made 'political' decision to cut military flying time in 2014, Laurie Hawn says

    Canada News CBC News
    The Harper government made a "political" decision to cut flying times for CF-18s and other military aircraft so it could save money and campaign on a balanced budget in 2015, says a former Conservative MP and ex-fighter pilot. Source
  • A small way Trudeau's new LGBTQ2 advisor can make life easier for the trans community: Opinion

    Canada News CBC News
    Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault as his special advisor on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and two-spirited (LGBTQ2) issues. Boissonnault comes into the role with a full roster of matters waiting for attention, including a long-promised government apology for past discriminations against members of the LGBTQ2 community. Source