A Ku Klux Klan rally aimed at raising awareness against “illegal immigration and Muslims” in Anaheim, Calif. turned violent on Saturday (Feb. 27), the Los Angeles Times reports. Hours before the hate group was scheduled to gather, a group of counter-protesters showed up to the scene at around 11 a.m. As Klansman exited their SUV, donning Confederate flag patches, the counter-protesters, who were reportedly armed with two-by-fours, approached them.
The melee left three people stabbed and 13 people arrested. According to bystander accounts, the three stab victims were counter-protesters, one of whom was punctured with a flagpole by one of the Klansman. Martin Buenorostro, a friend of one of the men injured, stated that the Klansman also drew weapons in the confrontation. A Klansman was also reportedly heard saying he acted “in self-defense.”
“They started pulling out weapons,” he recalled. “One of them had the flag, the American flag, with the pointed top and I think that’s what got my friend. It’s a serious wound. It wasn’t like the blood was dripping out. It gushed out of him.”
According to Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, police presence was not on the scene in anticipation for any clashes, calling their delayed response the “longest few minutes.” The Anaheim Police Department took to its Facebook page on Friday (Feb. 26) to publicly share their knowledge of the upcoming rally.
“This group has held similar rallies throughout Orange County over the past few years,” the post reads. “Members of the sponsoring group typically pass out literature and hold signs with messages, which while controversial, are protected by the First Amendment. APD will be monitoring the situation for any violations of law.
Donald Trump recently received an endorsement from former KKK grand wizard, David Duke. The Klansman were arrested for the stabbings. All parties could face assault and assault with deadly weapons charges. Watch video from the scene below: