This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Graphic Videos: KKK Members Were Acting In Self-Defense, Anaheim Police Say
Anaheim Police have released five KKK members involved in a melee on Saturday, stating that video evidence shows they were defending themselves from protesters.Three people were stabbed at a Ku Klux Klan demonstration near Pearson Park in Anaheim on Saturday when a fight broke out between Klan members and those who had gathered to protest them. Five Klan members—four men and one woman—were initially arrested, but they have since been released after police said a video showed that they were acting in self-defense, according to the L.A. Times.
Anaheim police spokesperson Sgt. Daron Wyatt said that the video, plus interviews and photos, showed a "clear picture as to who the aggressors were. It does appear to be self-defense or the defense of another."
Seven protesters were also arrested on Saturday, and police are still looking for another man who is wanted for alleged assault. Only one of the protesters who was arrested was from Anaheim, according to a release from the Anaheim Police Department (one of them from San Francisco). The release suggested that the rest "came to the park with the intent of perpetrating violence."
The statement also defends the KKK's right to hold a gathering, and the police's response to the demonstration:
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. In response to questions regarding police presence at the park, APD personnel were dedicated to the event, and were present. Further, a plan was in place and included additional officers to respond as necessary. Those additional marked APD units were on scene within 1 minute and 36 seconds of the first report of violence, which occurred when counter protesters suddenly confronted members of the KKK as they arrived at the park. Within two minutes of the reports of violence, six marked units were on scene. Additional units continued arriving over the next few minutes. Officers rendered medical aid to those who were injured and arrested all but one of the suspects who were engaged in the majority of the violence."
Ultimately, it will be up to the District Attorney's office to decide whether or not there will be charges filed in the incident.
Two videos of the fight can be seen below. Warning: the content is graphic.