At Least 10 Injured at California Rally
- By Sydny Shepard
- Jun 27, 2016
Ten people were injured after violence broke out between a white supremacist group and counter-protesters, said authorities in Sacramento, California. The injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to stab wounds, leaving two people in critical condition.
The Traditionalist Worker’s Party, or TWP, whose leader describes the group as a “white nationalist” group, had a permit for a noon rally near the state Capitol, said Officer George Grenada, California Highway Patrol public information officer with the Capitol Protection Division. Another group showed up to “stop them from carrying on their permit,” he said.
Around 11:45 a.m. PT, TWP members and supporters came out to a location south of the Capitol building, Grenada said. It is unclear how many TWP members participated in the rally, but it was clear that they were outnumbered, as the counter-protester numbers climbed to around 300 or more.
Almost immediately, the two groups clashed and violence broke out. Nine men and one woman, ages 19 to 58, were injured in the brawl. They all had multiple stab and laceration wounds. One of the injured refused to go to the hospital. It was unclear how many were taken to the hospital as of Sunday night.
The TWP called off the rally after the incident, but the counter-protesters stayed around the area for at least another hour.
The TWP website made it clear that the incident was not unexpected as they updated members, “The upcoming rally this weekend on the 26th promises to be one to remember, due to the fact many stand to stop us yet we refuse to yield!”
It is not uncommon for opposing groups to hold simultaneous protests, but it is usually the duty of law enforcement to keep the two groups from each other. Art Roderick, a CNN law enforcement analyst said that it appeared that the counter-protesters simply overwhelmed the TWP.
A Facebook post made by the Sacramento Police Department said police deployed over 100 officers from different specialty units to the scene in anticipation of violence.
"The Sacramento Police Department is dedicated to insuring that all persons be able to exercise their constitutionally protected right to free speech and will continue to work alongside its law enforcement partners at the California Highway Patrol to assist them during future permitted events." the statement said.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.