A bloody melee that broke out between members of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) and counter-protesters on Saturday resulted in three stabbings and seven arrests–and thanks for a Jewish man who would otherwise have been a target for the hate group, but who saved the lives of two Klansmen who could have otherwise been “stomped to death.”
“How do you feel that a Jewish person helped save your life today?” Cal State San Bernardino professor Brian Levin, who has had police training, asked KKK leader William Quigg and another member who was being assaulted by counter-demonstrators in Pearson Park. “I thank you. I thank you,” Quigg answered, according to the Orange County Register.
Levin, the director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was reportedly at the protest to conduct research, and to ask the Klansmen who they were supporting for president. He was able to record much of the bloody melee on his iPhone.
According to the Los Angeles Times, five KKK members who were arrested on Saturday were released after police determined they were acting in self-defense against counter-protesters who charged at them once they arrived at the scene of what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.
“The totality of the evidence, including videos, still pictures, and interviews, paints a pretty clear picture as to who the aggressors were,” Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt reportedly said. “It does appear to be self-defense [by the KKK] and defense of another.”
Seven anti-KKK protesters who were also arrested during the fight remained in police custody as of Monday morning. They are being held on bail up to $50,000 each, and charges stemming from “suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon” and “suspicion of elder abuse.” One of the aggressors is a juvenile.
Breitbart News was also able to obtain exclusive footage of the terrifying scene, which shows one of the Klansmen prodding a flag pole into the torso of a counter-protester in an apparent act of self-defense. The other two counter-protesters were stabbed with a knife.
Those present complained that there was not enough of a police presence at the rally. Sgt. Wyatt told the Times this was a deliberate move by police who chose not to have a visible presence to avoid provoking potential anti-police sentiments among protesters.
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait reportedly lauded police efforts to control the violent disruption.
For many Anaheim residents, the KKK’s presence on Saturday came as a bit of a surprise. In the 1920s, the Klan held the majority of seats on the City Council board, but were ousted in 1924 — long before Disneyland arrived.
Anaheim’s population has seen a vast demographic shift over the past few years. The city’s diverse population is majority Hispanic, with whites accounting for 30% of the population.
In January 2015, the Klan had passed out fliers that were placed in plastic sandwich bags, along with candy and rocks. The fliers called Martin Luther King, Jr. a communist and a pervert, according to a counter-protester who spoke with Breitbart News prior to the bloody brawl.
The Times notes that a similar message was reportedly passed out in July by members of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.