A Ku Klux Klan leader who was injured when his small group of demonstrators got into a bloody melee with counter-protesters in a Southern California park this weekend said Monday that he called police beforehand asking for security and was told, "We don't do that."
Will Quigg said in an interview with The Associated Press that he contacted the Anaheim Police Department but that the agency denied his requests for a police presence. The KKK then told officers that the group would hire an outside security company.
"They said, 'No, you can't do that either,'" Quigg said.
The confrontation escalated to a brawl in the street. Three people were stabbed by a KKK member, who told officers he was acting in self-defense Saturday when his group was attacked by counter-protesters during an afternoon rally near Anaheim's Pearson Park.
Five KKK members who were arrested after the brawl were released from police custody, and seven counter-protesters were facing charges. Police were searching Monday for a protester who they say was caught on video attacking a KKK member and celebrating.
"We were jumped by a mob," Quigg told NBC4, describing injuries to his wrist from being shoved to the ground. "I'm black and blue all over from getting kicked, hit with fists, lead pipes, two-by-fours."
Quigg says his group was targeted for their beliefs.
"Why is everybody against people who say, 'Hey, I'm white and proud to be white,'" Quigg said. "You're called a racist if you're proud to be white, and that is not right."
A peacefel protest was held Monday night to counter the violence that erupted on Saturday. Several protestors shouted, demanding the release of demonstrators who were still in jail after they were arrested in last weekend's brawl.
Three of the stabbing victims from last weekend's violent confrontation were expected to recover.
The Anaheim Police Department is facing scrutiny for its response. The department notified the public that the KKK planned to hold an anti-immigration protest at a park about 3 miles from Disneyland, but at least one witness said he saw no uniformed officers when the attack began.
Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said officers were present, but he has declined to say how many. He acknowledged that Quigg had contacted the department but believed that the group leader was asking for police to act as personal security guards.
According to Quigg, Today's Loyal White Knights are a charted church, not a lynch mob. But members of Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development see it differently. They say the klan's message underscores a growing anti-immigrant sentiment.
On Monday night, they expect hundreds to gather at Pearson Park to deliver another message.
"Hatred should not be tolerated," said Ada Briceno of the OCCORD. "Anaheim is a city of kindness and we don't think that that type of hatred and decisiveness and racism not belongs in the city."
Quigg claims his group is not against any one race, but believe that all races should exist separately.
"When you put a bunch of different cultures and heritages together there are going to be problems," he said.
A coalition of community and faith leaders planned to gather Monday night to draw attention to what they call racist rhetoric.
Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.