Man stabbed as anti-vaccination rally in LA turns violent
Los Angeles, California – A man who was stabbed during a fight that broke out at an anti-vaccination rally in front of Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday has been released from the hospital, police said.
The man was not identified and no information was given about the extent of his injury.
No arrest has been reported in connection with the stabbing, or in an attack on a journalist that was also reported at the rally, said Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The violence has drawn condemnation from elected officials.
"Not wearing a mask and being anti-vax isn’t patriotism – it’s stupidity," Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez said in a statement.
"We have to be able to have differences of opinions without resorting to violence. Attacking counter-protesters and journalists has no place in a democracy and certainly no place in Los Angeles," he continued.
A crowd of several hundred people, many holding American flags and signs calling for "medical freedom," had descended on City Hall around 2:00 PM for the planned rally.
A few dozen counterprotesters had amassed nearby.
Anti-vax protesters attack reporter
A fight erupted on the corner of 1st and Spring streets shortly after 2:30 PM, as counter-protesters in all black and anti-vaccine demonstrators draped in American flag and Trump garb traded punches and threw things at one another.
It was not immediately clear how the fight started, though each side quickly blamed the other.
One person, whom the anti-mask protesters claimed was part of their rally, could be seen collapsed in the intersection, bleeding.
Police on the scene said the person had been stabbed, and paramedics arrived to take him to a hospital.
A short time later, KPCC reporter Frank Stoltze could be seen walking out of the park near City Hall being screamed at by anti-mask protesters. One man could be seen kicking him. Stoltze later told a police officer he had been assaulted while trying to conduct an interview.
Stoltze later tweeted this statement: "I was shoved, kicked and my eyeglasses were ripped off of my face by a group of guys at a protest – outside City Hall during an anti-vax Recall Gavin Newsom Pro Trump rally."
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire