No evidence of hate crime in forum flap
PALMDALE — Palmdale Sheriff ’s Station Captain Ronald Shaffer said there was no evidence of a hate crime when a group of individuals disrupted an educational forum for 25th Congressional District candidates held Feb. 1 at the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley.
Only four candidates, Democrats Anibal Valdéz-Ortega, Cenk Uygur, Getro Elize and David Rudnick, attended the forum, which was sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter.
Thirteen candidates are running for the 25th Congressional District seat, which has been vacant since former Rep. Katie Hill resigned last November.
Shaffer joined Kamal Al-Khatib, president of American Islamic Institute of AV; Ruth Sanchez, a local American Civil Liberties Union representative; and interfaith leaders for a press conference Friday afternoon at the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley.
Some of the protesters who interrupted the forum carried Trump 2020 signs.
“They were chanting with some anti-Muslim statements and they were
Rabbi Alan Henkin of Congregation Beth Knesset Bamidbar (left) listens as Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Captain Ronald Shaffer speaks during a Friday afternoon press conference at the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley as Senior Pastor Jim White and Kamal Al-Khatib look on.