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

  • RCMP commissioner warns continued IT failures will have 'catastrophic' consequences

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's top cop is warning that ongoing computer network failures and slipshod service from Shared Services Canada could have "catastrophic" consequences for police and the public. CBC News has obtained a blistering Jan. 20, 2017, memo to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in which Commissioner Bob Paulson details how critical IT failures have increased by 129 per cent since the beleaguered department took over tech support for the entire government five years ago. Source
  • Tax-free saving schemes fail to prepare many for retirement: Don Pittis

    Canada News CBC News
    With the RRSP deadline only days away, the inventor of one of Canada's tax sheltered saving plans says there is evidence such schemes have failed to encourage people to save properly, and he warns there are changes afoot. Source
  • 'You can lose everything': Tenant's medical marijuana grow-op costs landlord insurance

    Canada News CBC News
    Longtime landlord Darryl Spencer was left scrambling for insurance after discovering a tenant was growing dozens of medical marijuana plants inside and outside his rental house. When the landlord told his insurance company about the perfectly legal grow-op, his coverage was cancelled, leaving him with no insurance, few rights and a big cleanup bill. Source
  • Battered eastern Ukraine seems headed into protracted on-and-off war

    World News CBC News
    On Feb. 19, one day before the latest attempt at a ceasefire in Ukraine, 51-year-old Vitaliy Yermolovich sat in the ruins of his home in Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine and laughed. "So, it'll be the 30th ceasefire?" he said, looking toward his neighbour, Telman Salimov, who fled the conflict in Karabakh nearly 30 years ago for the safety of Ukraine. Source
  • Father of dead Navy SEAL refused to meet Trump, wants Yemen raid investigated

    World News CBC News
    The father of a Navy SEAL killed during an anti-terrorism raid in Yemen is demanding an investigation into its planning and criticized the Trump administration for its timing. Bill Owens told The Miami Herald in a story published Sunday that he refused to meet with President Donald Trump when both came to Dover Air Force Base to receive the casket carrying his son, Chief Special Warfare Officer William (Ryan) Owens. Source
  • Ex-congregants of evangelical church reveal years of abuse

    World News CTV News
    SPINDALE, N.C. -- From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror - waged in the name of the Lord. Source
  • Indonesian police kill suspected militant during attack

    World News CTV News
    BANDUNG, Indonesia - Indonesian police said they shot and killed a suspected militant in the West Java capital of Bandung on Monday after his bomb exploded in a vacant lot and he fled into a municipal building and set it alight. Source
  • Parade float crashes into specators during Rio's Carnival

    World News CBC News
    A float crashed during Rio de Janeiro's world famous Carnival parade Sunday evening and injured at least 12 people, including at least one person reported in serious condition, but organizers proceeded with the show. The incident involved the last float of the first samba school parading through Rio's Sambadrome. Source
  • 'This is not a joke': Confusion, Moonlight and other Oscar highlights

    World News CBC News
    There was drama, comedy and even a plot twist on Sunday at the 89th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Here are a few memorable moments that stood out and, of course, the one that stood above the rest. Source
  • U.S. officials not yet authorized to vet Australia refugees

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - U.S. security officers have yet to be authorized by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to vet refugees held on Pacific islands for potential resettlement in the United States, an Australian official said on Monday. Source