ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com/AP) — Three people were stabbed at a Ku Klux Klan gathering Saturday in Anaheim, police said. At least one person was in critical condition.
KKK members and counter-protesters were involved in violent attacks, Sgt. Daron Wyatt with the Anaheim Police Department told The Associated Press.
Authorities say 12 people are in custody after the altercations. On Saturday evening, Anaheim Police said one suspect — a counter-protester — was outstanding. They released a photo of that suspect (shown below) hoping the public could identify him.
After reviewing videotape evidence, police said four of the 12 people were released.
A spokesman with the Anaheim Police Department says six of those arrested are Klan supporters and seven are counter-protesters. They were all charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
All three people who were stabbed are believed to be counter-protesters.
Wyatt says a Klan member was stomped on by counter-protesters during another altercation.
Officials said one man was critically stabbed — possibly by the pointed-end of an eagle on top of a flagpole that was sporting a Confederate flag. Late Saturday, police said the man’s condition was upgraded to stable.
CBS2’s Laurie Perez talked to witnesses who said Klan members had just arrived at Pearson Park when they came face-to-face with the counter-protesters. A war of words broke out almost instantly. That war quickly became physical along a full city block.
Cal State San Bernardino Professor Brian Levin shielded a Klan member who he believed was about to be killed by the protesters.
“Look at the video,” Levin said.
Both sides claimed the other side started the violence, Perez reported.
“This just goes to show how immature they are,” said KKK member Will Quigg, “We came here for a peaceful protest and they came here and jumped on us.”
“They started pulling out weapons,” said a protester, “Them. They. They started pulling out weapons.”
On Saturday evening, Anaheim Police listed the people in custody, their charge and bail amounts. Charles Edward Donner, 51, of San Francisco, assault with a deadly weapon, $25,000; Nicole Rae Schop, 24, of Los Angeles, elder abuse, $50,000; Marquis DeShawn Turner, 20, of Anaheim, assault with a deadly weapon, $25,000; Randy Omarcc Felder, 25, of Lakewood, assault with a deadly weapon, $25,000; Mark Anthony Liddell, 26, of Los Angeles, elder abuse, $50,000 bail; Guy Harris, 19, transient, assault with a deadly weapon, $25,000 and Hugo Contreras, 38, of Hawthorne, elder abuse, $50,000.
The KKK has a long history in Southern California, with Klansmen holding elected office in Anaheim in the 1920s.
Officers on scene said they witnessed a Klan member stab a protester with a knife. They found a third counter-protester in a car also stabbed.
Nationwide, the number of active KKK groups increased to 190 in 2015 after falling in 2013 and 2014, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In January 2015, packets containing fliers condemning Martin Luther King, Jr. and supporting the Klan were left in the driveways of about 40 homes in Santa Ana, about 8 miles south of Anaheim. The bags contained a KKK business card, rock and candy.
The fliers opened with the heading, “On Martin Luther King Day, you are celebrating a communist pervert.” The bottom of the fliers state they came from the “Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”
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