ANAHEIM, Calif. — Violence broke out Saturday when Ku Klux Klan demonstrators and counterprotesters fought in Anaheim, California, leaving five people injured and 13 people arrested, authorities said.
Anaheim police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt said the KKK planned a “walking protest” at Pearson Park. The counterprotesters arrived beforehand and attacked when the KKK got out of their vehicles around noon, he said.
Several fights broke out along a city block involving six KKK members — none wearing the traditional KKK robes — and 30 counterprotesters.
Three counterprotesters were stabbed — one with the decorative end of a flagstaff, one with a knife and one with an object the police did not describe, Wyatt said.
The person stabbed with the flagstaff was hospitalized in critical condition and the other two were in stable condition, police said.
Police witnessed one KKK demonstrator being stomped by by two male and a female counterprotesters. Another KKK member told police he’d been stomped and might have broken ribs, Wyatt said.
The first KKK member had minor injuries and was not hospitalized, police said, and the second one was hospitalized in stable condition.
Arrested were six male and one female counterprotesters and five male and one female KKK member, Wyatt said.
The district attorney’s office will decide what, if any, charges will be filed, he said.
Wyatt said anyone with cell phone video of the fight should contract police.
The police department talked about the planned KKK protest on its Facebook page Friday, saying, “This group has held similar rallies throughout Orange County over the past few years. 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.”