Did Anaheim Police Spread Disinformation Prior to KKK Rally-Turned-Melee?

In the aftermath of the Ku Klux Klan melee at Anaheim’s Pearson Park last month, people have pointed fingers all over town. Anaheim police blamed the media (*cough* the Weekly *cough*) and counter-demonstrators for the violence that left injured Klukkers and three stabbed protesters in its wake. Others somehow got the wild idea that with a white supremacist hate group rallying in Latino-majority city, maybe, just maybe, a uniformed, visible police presence at a beloved park would have kept the peace.

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada told the city council on the Tuesday following the brawl, “There was a request to hire police officers to protect them,” but that such a thing “is not our function,” and that APD offered a number of alternatives that the Klan did not take up. KKK Grand Dragon Will Quigg, in turn, told the Associated Press that he called police, who denied his request for a police presence. Anaheim police spokesman Daron Wyatt, for his part, told the Los Angeles Times that the Klan turned them down when they learned about the protocols and costs for hiring police security
But now that parachute journalists have left Anaheim and the peace march is over, one thing’s for sure: The police fucked up big time!

Emails obtained by the Weekly show Charles “Chuck” Donner, the San Francisco stab-happy Klansman, provided police with the exact time and location of where they’d be protesting a day before the rally and that the Klan clearly had safety concerns about their planned “White Lives Do Matter” protest. According to an email dated February 24—three days before the rally, and the day the Weekly let the world know the Klukkers were planning to protest at Pearson Park—Donner, not Quigg, left a voicemail to Investigator Chuck Schroth. “He was asking for uniformed protection for their upcoming march because of issues with ‘non-whites’ last year,” Schroth wrote to Lieutenant Curtis Faulkner, the Central District Commander for APD’s Community Policing Team. Seems a trio of Klukkers briefly popped up at Pearson Park on December 19, 2015 flying a Confederate flag and handing out leaflets before Mexican punks from Anaheim ran them off. 

“We don’t provide uniformed protection unless they want to pay for police services,” Faulkner wrote back, an offer at odds with Quezada’s statements to the council. Donner followed up by calling Sergeant Chris Masilon, leaving a voicemail that the Klan planned to hire their own private armed security. Masilon relayed the message to Faulkner with concerns of his own, writing “ARMED SECURITY” all in caps. 
Donner called Anaheim police again on the morning of February 26 and couldn’t be more clearer about how things were to ultimately go down. “He is approximating 20 people in his group and they will be protesting on the west side of the park near Harbor Boulevard,” Masilon wrote to Faulkner at 9:46 a.m. “Hours are 1200-1400.” Masilon also noted that another police officer listened to the rally being talked up on KROQ that morning—gracias for tuning in to the Mexican-in-Chief on Kevin & Bean!

The email further discredits the APD’s spin efforts. At the Anaheim council meeting, Chief Quezada stated:

The Klan indicated they would be here at 1:30 in the afternoon. That is not the time they arrived. They arrived at closer to 11:30 a.m…The information we never have specifically is what time they’re going to arrive, where they’re going to park, they could park down the street, walk their way…That information is not something that [was] available, nor is something that’s mandated that they share with us…Sometimes, out of courtesy, they will make the phone call…The KKK arrived two hours prior to the notification of the scheduled time that they were supposed to be there, that they had communicated with us.

Likely story!

Knowing the KKK’s plans, Anaheim PD resorted to public disinformation. On the morning of February 26, the day before the rally, APD wrote on its Facebook page at 11:31 a.m. that it was “aware of a planned “walking protest” to be held by the KKK at Pearson Park at 1:30 pm on Saturday February 27, 2016.” Wyatt, meanwhile, told the Times that same day the event was slated for 10 a.m. But neither of the start times mentioned publicly, 10 a.m. or  1:30 p.m., appear in email records nor is there any mention of confusion about the issue. Did the police intentionally try to thin out counter-protesters by floating differing start times to the public? Why would the Klan, concerned with their safety, seek to pull a fast one on the cops the day before their rally? 

Instead, the black SUV carrying Donner and the other Klukkers parked near the west side of the park on Cypress Street the following day. They arrived a few minutes after noon, right on schedule. Donner had no security plans left at his disposal other than bringing a knife to a fistfight. The rest is bloodstained history, all on the hands of Anaheim police. 

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