Contrary to Chief’s Claim, Anaheim Police May Have Known When Controversial Klan Rally Would Begin

When Ku Klux Klan members clashed with angry counter-protestors at a small Klan rally in Anaheim last year, a confrontation that ended with three stabbings and 13 people arrested, Police Chief Raul Quezada told City Council members the rally began two hours earlier than officers expected.

Quezada had faced public criticism that argued his department failed to send enough police to the Feb. 27, 2016 rally, despite knowing about it days in advance.

But counter to what Quezada told the City Council, internal emails and police reports about the incident, provided to Voice of OC by Anaheim resident Duane Roberts and from the city through public records requests, suggest police officers had information the rally would begin at noon, not 1:30 p.m. as the chief said.

Now Quezada is under scrutiny by the city’s Office of Independent Review for his remarks, one of two investigations into the chief’s conduct initiated in 2016. Both investigations are ongoing, according to city spokesman Mike Lyster.

Duane Roberts, the Anaheim resident who filed a complaint about Quezada’s KKK rally statements said he was concerned “Quezada’s false, inaccurate and misleading statements about what transpired” influenced the city’s Public Safety Board discussion on whether residents should be required to request a permit to hold public protests.

“Instead of looking at whether the APD (Anaheim Police Department) made tactical errors…they focused their attention on ordinances that would curb free speech rights for not only the Klan, but everybody,” Roberts said.

Quezada told the City Council the department didn’t know exactly when the Klan would arrive or where they were going to park their cars, saying “that information is not something we have available. Nor that’s something that is mandated that they share with us.”

The OC Weekly reported as early as Feb 24 that the Klan was planning a rally at Anaheim’s Pearson Park, sparking plans from counter-protestors to arrive earlier to hold their own demonstration.

The day before the rally, the police department’s Facebook page posted the event would begin at 1:30 p.m., although Sgt. Daron Wyatt told the Los Angeles Times in a story published the same day the demonstration would begin at 10 a.m.

In an email on Feb. 24, investigator Chuck Schroth told Lt. Curtis Faulkner of the Community Policing Team he received a voicemail from Klan member Chuck Donner requesting uniformed protection at their march.

Two days later, in the same email chain, Sgt. Chris Masilon wrote to Faulkner the Klan expected 20 demonstrators and they would be protesting on the west side of the park facing Harbor Boulevard.

“Hours are 1200-1400,” Masilon wrote, in military time for 12:00 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Roberts also gave Voice of OC documents, which he said he obtained legally, that appear to be follow-up police reports about the KKK rally. The city currently is reviewing the documents at Voice of OC’s request for their authenticity.

Although Quezada told council members the rally began around 11:30 a.m., multiple police reports suggest Klan members arrived around noon.

Officer A. Guo wrote in a Feb. 27 police report that around noon the day of the rally he was working plainclothes in the Pearson Park area, sitting in his vehicle at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Cypress Street, when he saw two white men in black shirts with patches exit a vehicle.

“I could hear indistinct yelling by subjects in the crowd. I then saw what appeared to be several subjects involved in a physical altercation on the south sidewalk of Cypress Street,” Guo wrote.

Masilon wrote in a Feb 28 report that he “was monitoring my radio regarding a possible rally at Pearson Park” when he got a call around 12:10 p.m. about an incident at the park.

Roberts said he believes Quezada lied to the City Council about what the department knew and should be fired.

“If a police officer lies under oath, they can be prosecuted for perjury, and they spend time in prison. If you lie on a police report, that’s a misdemeanor and you can go to jail,” Roberts said. “I’m of the opinion that he (Quezada) should be fired.”

After Roberts’ complaint and reporting by the OC Weekly, the city’s Public Safety Board voted to ask City  Manager Paul Emery to request the Office of Independent Review investigate the allegations.

Quezada declined to comment through a city spokesman, citing the confidentiality of personnel investigations.

However, in a March 2 email police Captain Steve Marcin called public comments about the department’s preparation and response “inaccurate, accusatory and misinformed.”

“The Chief stood steadfast in setting the record straight. Anaheim Police had a plan to allow the public to exercise 1st amendment rights and would respond if needed to keep the peace or if violence occurred,” Marcin wrote in an email about the department’s messaging about the KKK rally. “Once the attack began, APD responded swiftly, regained control and conducted a thorough and complete investigation.”

Quezada and his Deputy Chief Dan Cahill also are undergoing an internal investigation into allegations they falsified time cards and were paid for time they spent on vacation, according to ABC7 News.

Lyster said the review into Young’s complaint is “ongoing” but is almost complete.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

  • David Zenger

    “Anaheim Police had a plan…”

    And the plan, whatever it was, turned into a total fiasco.

  • Cynthia Ward

    So tired of this. Anaheim enjoys one of the best law enforcement teams out there, but once again the rank and file get dragged down by top brass (when not being misrepresented by brutish union leaders who alienate the taxpayers covering PD paychecks.) The Chief and his direct reports appear (from their own conflicting statements) to be less than truthful in their accounting of this issue, and then they are shocked when otherwise pro-law enforcement citizens admit we have problems with the credibility of safety leaders. If we can’t count on them to ‘fess up when reporting on a simple tactical fubar, how do we take them at face value when reporting on why they shot yet another kid “reaching for his waistband?” BTW-instances of those kids trying to keep their ill-fitting clown pants up or not drop a cell phone are 100% so far, while instances of a weapon in the waistband used to harm an officer or member of the public would be zero. In the entire 160 year history of the City of Anaheim, zero. But tell us again how refusing to accept on blind faith the word of those whose career is over if found mistaken, and we are “unfairly attacking our fine men and women in law enforcement” and frankly we are all tired of being lied to and then insulted when the lie is not accepted. Stop. Just stop.

    We live right down Lemon from the park, in the “wealthy white enclave of the Colony” (and they laughed and laughed) and we were in the park that morning, and saw the anti-fas kids far ahead of the KKK, tying on bandanas and getting each other all “testosteroned up” for a fight. We also quickly picked out the not-so-cleverly disguised white guys on beach cruisers who had to be undercover cops or trolling for a “date” in the men’s room, because they clearly did not belong. But doing the math, we don’t need to know when the KKK was coming, all one needed to do was watch the anti-fas kids who were waiting for them. Indeed I am curious what reasoning officers gave for NOT keeping an eye on kids known on sight and readily identifiable, pulling bandanas and face coverings on, and swinging around a variety of sticks etc. Under what conditions does law enforcement not at least make their presence known to those in the area clearly looking for a fight?

    The Chief also claimed they were on the wrong side of the park, and didn’t know where the KKK would congregate. Gee, do ya think it MIGHT have been the all-white event tent at the Cypress end of the park? The one and only event place holder NOT occupied by the faithful uncle of the birthday kid to stake out their section of the park after the rental people drop off the tables/chairs/pinata/bounce house package special. Ya think those clues might have indicated where the cops should be stationed?

    Oops, but of course since I lack the law enforcement training of these crack professionals I have no right to question or review the lack of COMMON SENSE exhibited by our PD department!!

    This lack of pro-active prevention was brought to us by the same team that failed to secure Palais Street recently, despite everyone from Ball Jr. High upward with access to social media knowing trouble was planned that night. Protect and Serve has become Make Excuses and Clean Up Later. That is a lot of extra lettering to put on the doors of patrol cars.

  • LFOldTimer

    Boy, another shocker, eh? Not really. Most of us figured this one out over a year ago.

    And to think that those stabbings, assaults and life threatening injuries could have been avoided had the cops not neglected what we pay them to do. Namely, to protect and serve.

    They knew that a klan rally would result in big time disturbances. Yet they turned a blind eye. Even reportedly lied about it.

    But if you discuss taking away their multi-million dollar pensions at age 55 or paying them normal middle class salaries as opposed to putting them in the top 5% income bracket of all workers – they become offended and remind us that they deserve because they’re heroes.

    The whole system is so screwed up.

  • Ed Romero

    Is this suppose to be a surprise? If he did lie then he could join all those Drug Dealing, Marijuana Smoking, Cocaine Snorting Racist Lesbians that ran the Orange County Probation Department, they were a BUNCH of Dirty Liars led by that Racist former Chief Probation Officer that hung out at that Lesbian Bar in Garden Grove with all those Drug Addicted Lesbian Employees of hers including the one that use to refer to herself as “Darlene the Macho Man”.

    • LFOldTimer

      Ed, you crack me up.

  • verifiedsane

    The police lying to the public; no surprise here! This is another reason why the police are completely incapable of investigating themselves; no matter what non-sense the police union disseminates through propaganda press releases to the public. Would you trust these clowns with the oversight of anything?

    “Quezada and his Deputy Chief Dan Cahill also are undergoing an internal
    investigation into allegations they falsified time cards and were paid
    for time they spent on vacation” “internal investigation”: which are code words for in secret and a cover-up….