Police officers investigate the scene near Pearson Park in Anaheim, California, February 27, 2016, after three counter-protesters were stabbed while clashing with Ku Klux Klan members staging a rally.
Ringo Chiu—AFP/Getty Images
February 29, 2016 7:30 PM EST

A KKK leader said that he tried to enlist security from the Anaheim Police Department before a rally that turned violent on Saturday, but that the police declined.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Will Quigg said he asked the police for security and was told “We don’t do that.” When he said he’d contract a private security firm instead, he says they replied, “No, you can’t do that either.”

Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt painted the conversation in a different light, saying it sounded like Quigg wanted the police to act as personal security for the KKK members to protect them from their protestors. “He was told how to contract for officers to do that, but did not want to spend the money,” Wyatt told the AP.

Wyatt says there were indeed officers on the scene, but wouldn’t say how many, and claimed they called for backup which arrived less than two minutes after the brawl broke out. Critics argued that a heightened police presence would have been more responsible in the event that resulted in three stabbings and more injuries.

[AP]

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