SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Authorities in Sacramento on Monday agreed with white supremacists who insisted they were not to blame for the violence that broke out during a weekend rally at the State Capitol.
Ten people were hurt including two who were critically injured when neo-Nazis and counter protesters clashed during a demonstration Sunday.
Police were continuing to review video of the incident authorities found online.
The violent scene on Sunday morning came as a shock to CHP Officer George Granada.
“I have not seen any kind of altercation, violence like this at the Capitol in my experience here,” said Granada.
The 12 p.m. rally had been scheduled in Sacramento for weeks with a permit granted to the Traditionalist Worker Party.
It is a group with close ties to white supremacists.
But when nearly 400 counter protesters showed up around 11:45 a.m., fights between the two groups quickly led to injuries.
“At the time of that incident, that permit and any other permit that was scheduled for the day was canceled,” said Officer Granada. “It’s hard to say who actually threw the first punch.”
And that means officers have a long road of investigating ahead of them.
The first development came Sunday evening after Sacramento Police Department spent hours looking for evidence.
“Yesterday, a handgun was recovered by the Sacramento Police Department,” said Granada. “I believe Sacramento PD has that in their evidence locker.”
During the altercations the glass at the South end security entrance was destroyed. KPIX 5 asked who would be financially responsible for the damage.
“Well unless we can determine exactly who it was that broke that window, it’ll probably be on general services to repair that window and the cost of it,” explained Granada. “I don’t think that they will push to have the permit individuals pay for that window.”
In other words, that cost will be covered taxpayers.
Granda said CHP is not ready to make arrests just yet.
Investigators will need to find video and witnesses to paint a full picture of what really happened during the commotion.
“If there’s witnesses out there, please come forward, and assist us with this investigation,” said Granada.
California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow and Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers are looking for ways their agencies can improve following a violent clash by demonstrators at the state Capitol.
CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader says the pair met for about two hours Monday to discuss lessons they can learn from the violence that sent 10 people to area hospitals.
More than 100 officers from the two agencies were patrolling Sunday because authorities anticipated violence during a white nationalist group’s planned demonstration at the California Capitol.
But police faced criticism Monday about whether they were properly prepared or too slow to get involved when the demonstration quickly turned violent in a clash with a larger group of counter-protesters.
A National Lawyers Guild observer says police mostly stood by during the confrontation.
The Sacramento Police Department is investigating two incidents that happened in their jurisdiction.