A pro-Trump demonstrator who admitted hitting protesters at a far-right rally received help and support from California police, who worked with him to prosecute leftwing activists, records show.
Documents and testimony in a trial surrounding a rightwing demonstration in Berkeley reveal that police and prosecutors pursued charges on behalf of Daniel Quillinan, a conservative activist who has posted fascist memes and came to the event with Kyle Chapman, now a celebrated figure amongst the “alt-right”. The authorities consistently treated Quillinan as a victim even though he was visibly armed with a knife, a wooden “shield” and a “flagpole” – and had told law enforcement that he “hit someone in the head”, according to court files.
The resulting criminal trial against five anti-fascist protesters – who are accused of assaulting Quillinan during a roughly 15-second altercation – is, according to activists, the latest example of US law enforcement aggressively targeting leftwing demonstrators and favoring members of the far-right after violent clashes. In another California case, police have worked directly with neo-Nazis to go after counter-protesters, including a black activist stabbed at a white supremacist rally.