The bloodstained concrete has long been scrubbed clean at Pearson Park in Anaheim where a February Ku Klux Klan rally turned into a brawl, but ripples from all the madness are still being felt. William Hagen, the West Coast Grand Dragon for Loyal White Knights of the KKK, is currently locked up on felony assault charges after stabbing a fellow Klukker in North Carolina this month during an argument over the Anaheim debacle. Trials for the kounter-protesters charged with assaulting the Klan continue.
Adding to the fallout, the Weekly has now obtained revealing police reports from the whole sordid mess. And they don't look good for Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada who assured the Anaheim city council back in March that officers under his command did their best to contain a chaotic situation with the Invisible Empire arriving at 11:30 a.m., two hours earlier than expected.
“The information we never have specifically is what time they're going to arrive, where they're going to park,” he said of the Klan at council. “That information is something that [was] not available, nor is something that's mandated that they share with us.” Oh, but they did—and voluntarily! The Weekly previously reported on internal department emails that showed Charles “Chuck” Donner, the San Fran Klan Man and Weekly Scariest People 2016 inductee who stabbed three people during the melee, had contacted police the day before the rally telling them the rally would start at noon and be on the west side of the park by Harbor Boulevard. The chief's other claim that Klukkers arrived at the park at 11:30 a.m., something he later repeated to Anaheim's Public Safety Board, isn't supported by his own department's police reports—not even close! “At about 1200 hours, I was working plainclothes in the area of Pearson Park,” wrote officer Arthur Guo in one write up. “I watched from the west side of Harbor Blvd as a black Chevrolet SUV pulled onto Cypress St. and parked along the south curb.” The vehicle mentioned was the Klan mobile full of Klukkers ready for their “White Lives Matter” rally.
More than 20 other Anaheim police reports reviewed by the Weekly detail officers responding to emergency calls of a felony assault in progress at the park between 12:10-12:20 p.m. that day. Not a single word is written in hundreds of pages about the Klan arriving around 11:30 a.m. or even ahead of schedule. Police interviews of witnesses and Klukkers also offer a consistent timeline. Brian Levin, head of the Cal State San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism and a Jew who saved Hagen from a bigger beat down on the street that day, told police that the Klan came at 12:08 p.m. Detective Julissa Trapp interviewed Donner about the melee reporting that “the plan was for them to walk with their signs from noon until 1400 hours” (just as the Klansman had told cops the day before the rally).
The police reports also give insights into the Loyal White Knights organization through interviews. Donner told Trapp that he had been a member of the KKK since 2013 and formerly belonged to the white supremacist National Alliance group. Not knowing his own Klan history, Donner claimed Pearson Park was chosen for the rally because Hagen lived close by and that the park took its name from a former Klansman (Nope, ex-Anaheim mayor Charles Pearson was no Klukker!).
Out of all the Klan, Donner told police the tallest tales. He claimed to an officer at the scene that Tom Bibyan, the third person he stabbed, had pushed him to the ground and started punching him in the face. Donner stated that he “poked” at Bibiyan after the anti-Klan protester rushed him a second time, a story that doesn't check out with video of their encounter. The Klansman also noted that he shit himself, which he did, while under the “pressure” of being assaulted despite not being all that beat up like Hagen. Police later released Donner on the grounds that he stabbed in “self-defense” but also dropped their case against Bibiyan who the Orange County District Attorney didn't charge with anything.
Before heading out to Pearson Park in two cars, the Klan all met up at Hagen's home in Orange. Most of the Loyal White Knights that day hadn't know each other outside of Klan conference calls and came from out of town states like Texas and Arizona. They hoped to go back to Hagen's place for a BBQ after a triumphant rally, but got a beat down instead. Hagen told cops that a “colored guy” pushed him to the ground before others jumped in the assault, but, like Donner, didn't wish to press charges against kounter-protesters, preferring to “let bygones be bygones.” The Grand Dragon still held a grudge, though, and whined about the Weekly's Mexican-in-Chief insulting him and the Klan in an article after their interview.
Hagen also told police that the Klan decided on showing up at 12:00 p.m. “in anticipation the counter protesters would be gone by then.” His timeline of events matches the police reports into the melee, and witness accounts, but not the chief's public statements. Duane Roberts, a former city council candidate and longtime activist in the city, filed a complaint against Quezada in April over his fuzzy timeline. Without the benefit of police reports, but with their own emails, he accused the chief of “making inaccurate, false and misleading statements.” Anaheim's Human Resources Director interviewed Roberts twice without being under oath and later sent him a terse letter. “As a result of my investigation I found your allegations are not supported by the evidence,” it stated.
Roberts believes the city mishandled his complaint by not having an outside law firm conduct the investigation. He also asked the Public Safety Board to investigate the police response to the KKK rally through the Office of Independent Review but nothing happened. Now there's a thick stack of police reports that don't jive with Quezada, who an Anaheim police captain filed a complaint against in October for time card fraud, and his repeated statements about the Klan's arrival.
“The reports verify everything that I stated in the complaint,” Roberts says. “If an ordinary patrol officer had made the same kind of false and misleading statements that Quezada did, they would have immediately been removed from active duty and fired for conduct unbecoming an officer.”
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!