No ev­i­dence of hate crime in fo­rum flap

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

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

JULIE DRAKE/VAL­LEY PRESS

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.

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