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Anaheim Police May Charge KKK Counter-Protesters

Orange County prosecutors are in the process of deciding whether to charge several counter-protesters who charged at and assaulted members of the Klu Klux Klan on Saturday during what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.

The Klan reacted in self-defense, which resulted in three people being stabbed. Members of the KKK who had been apprehended were released after the Anaheim Police Department reviewed video footage of Saturday’s bloody melee at Pearson Park which showed they had not incited the violence that day.

According to the Los Angeles Times, at least four people remain in custody and were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. They are Marquis Turner, 20, of Anaheim and Guy Harris, 19, both of whom are accused of assault with a deadly weapon; and Mark Liddell, 26, of Los Angeles and Hugo Contreras, 38, of Hawthorne, who are both accused of elder abuse. A fifth aggressor is believed to be a juvenile and likely will not appear in court.

Sgt. Daron Wyatt told the Times that the media had announced the Klan was meeting at Pearson Park ahead of Saturday’s rally–and suggested that in at least one case, had encouraged counter-protesters to show up. He did not specify which media outlet was responsibles. He reportedly suggested that the rally might have remained peaceful had there not been a full media presence there.

Although many in the public rushed to blame the police department for a lack of officers present on Saturday, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait lauded police efforts to control the violent disruption. Wyatt had previously said police chose not to have a visible presence to avoid provoking potential anti-police sentiments among protesters.

“People are pointing their fingers at the Police Department,” Wyatt told the Times. “The Police Department didn’t incite this violence. The protesters did, the counter-protesters did. When are they going to be held accountable?”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.

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