Seven Protestors Charged In Clash With KKK Members In Anaheim
Back in February, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally at Pearson Park in Anaheim that turned physically violent when the white supremacist group clashed with several counter-protesters. A total of 13 people were arrested, though police released five KKK members, stating that video evidence showed they were defending themselves from the counter-protesters. The remaining seven were all protesters, and each one has been charged with either misdemeanor assault or battery, according to a release from the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Those charged were Hugo Contreras, 28; Randy Felder, 26; Guy Harris, 20; Mark Liddell, 26; Armando Ortiz, 22; Nicole Schop, 24; and Alexis Solis, 23. If convicted as charged, they may face between one and two years in jail.
Attorney Thomas Kielty, who is representing three of the accused, told the L.A. Times that his clients were merely trying to detain a Klan member who allegedly stabbed a counter-protestor when police arrived.
“My clients were not there when the stabbing happened, they had started to leave, and apparently all hell broke loose and they saw people stabbed, bleeding, on the ground. People were saying the Klansmen stabbed these protesters, and then the police are there just sort of chit-chatting with these guys," Kielty said.
Ortiz was apparently stabbed in the scuffle, though no Klan members were charged in the alleged attack.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas released the following statement:
This case is not about who was holding the protest rally, their racist message, or who was counter-protesting. This is about the mob mentality turning violent, which shut down neighboring streets, access to the park, and endangered the community as a whole. Our office does not condone any message of hate, mob violence, or vigilante justice.
The Klan, which has existed for 150 years, is apparently trying to make a comeback, according to the Associated Press, and have said they feel current politics in the U.S. are turning in their favor. Ew.