A witness' video captured the moment Saturday when KKK members and counterproteste
Five Ku Klux Klan members were arrested Saturday after stabbing three people in Anaheim, California. They were released late Sunday because they had acted in self-defense, the Anaheim Police Department said in a statement.
The brawl between KKK members and counterprotesters resulted in the arrests of 12 people, police said.
When six Klansmen arrived at the site where the rally was to be held, a group of about 30 counterprotesters had already gathered in anticipation, the APD said in a statement.
They began attacking the KKK members, Sgt. Daron Wyatt of the Anaheim police said. Two KKK members were "stomped on the ground," and Klansmen stabbed three of the counterprotesters.
The counterprotesters "were so angry, they would have torn these folks limb from limb," Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, told the Associated Press. "I was afraid for their lives."
All three stabbing victims are now in stable condition, according to police.
"Even if the vast majority of our community disagrees with a particular group who visits our city we cannot stop them from lawfully gathering to express their opinions,” Anaheim police Chief Raul Quezada said Sunday. “Violence is not acceptable, and we will arrest anybody who assaults another person or commits any other crime in our city.”
The case now goes to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for review, where judges will determine whether to file criminal charges.