Police in Huntington Beach, California shut down an organized so-called “White Lives Matter” rally within 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon after a few attendees violently clashed with counter-protesters.
Black Lives Matter counter-protesters far outnumbered the white nationalists that gathered near Huntington Beach pier for the rally, which started at 1 p.m. local time. After some arrests, cops declared the event an unlawful assembly by 2:30 p.m. and ordered the “unruly crowd” to disperse.
Several violent confrontations occurred between rallygoers and counter-protesters before authorities broke up the event.
In a video shared to YouTube, one man can be seen punching another man in the face in front of a police officer for repeatedly asking him, “Why do you hate me?”
“F*** off you Nazi b****,” one bystanders yelled at the violent man as he turned to walk away.
Another man welding a Trump 2020 flag was reportedly involved in a separate scuffle with counter-protesters. Authorities also arrested a few people who were carrying knives and pepper spray.
Police arrested two Black Lives Matter counter-protesters gathered with a group near the pier this morning ahead of the rally. The counter-protesters arrived hours before the “White Lives Matter” rally was scheduled to start.
In a video shared to Twitter, cops can be seen arresting a Black man while being surrounded by an angry crowd of counter-protesters.
User @waterspider__, who shared the footage, claimed that the Black male was “arrested for a ‘noise violation.'”
Huntington Beach Police Chief Lt. Brian Smith confirmed that one counter-protester was arrested for use of amplified sound. He also said a second was arrested for attempting to interfere with the first man’s arrest.
“The first gentleman was being detained and escorted off for a noise violation when the second gentleman interfered and impeded in the officers’ duties. He was detained and taken into custody for that and found to be in possession of a metal baton, a knife and two cans of pepper spray,” he said.
A group called the Loyal White Knights of the KKK organized the rally on social media, with an aim to “revive the White Racial Consciousness and to unify White People against white hate,” according to messages shared on Telegram.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department assisted city authorities by sending its regional mounted unit to the event. “That’s the extent of our involvement at this time,” said Carrie Braun, a spokesperson for the department, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We are monitoring open-source information to monitor additional events in our jurisdiction, but at this time we aren’t aware of any.”
Newsweek reached out to the Huntington Police for further information.