December 6, 2023
Protest sufferer Paul Kessler. Picture shared on X by Cristina Buttons @buttonslives

Los Angeles officers expressed outrage Monday over the dying of a 69-year-old Jewish man who was struck within the head Sunday at dueling demonstrations regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Paul Kessler of Thousand Oaks died on account of accidents sustained throughout an altercation at pro-Israeli and Professional-Palestinian rallies that had been occurring concurrently on the intersection of Westlake Boulevard and Thousand Oaks Boulevard, in response to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Division, which was dealing with the investigation.

The placement is in Thousand Oaks however borders Westlake Village, which straddles the border of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Authorities stated they haven’t dominated out the potential for a hate crime.

“We can not flip away from this. For the fourth time this yr, Los Angeles has suffered one more main antisemitic crime,” Los Angeles Metropolis Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky stated in a press release launched Monday night. “We can not ignore the disgusting antisemitism, hate speech, and violence that has proliferated right here at residence. Whereas we look ahead to extra particulars, know this: violence in opposition to our group can’t be and can by no means be tolerated.”

The Jewish Federation of Larger Los Angeles issued the next assertion:

“We’re devastated to study of the tragic dying of an aged Jewish man who was struck within the head by a megaphone wielded by a pro-Palestinian protestor in Westlake Village. Our hearts are with the household of the sufferer. Whereas we look ahead to extra info from our legislation enforcement companions, we remind you that that is the fourth main antisemitic crime dedicated in Los Angeles this yr alone.

“Violence in opposition to our folks has no place in civilized society. We demand security. We won’t tolerate violence in opposition to our group. We are going to do every thing in our energy to stop it.”

At about 3:20 p.m. Sunday, a number of residents known as the Ventura County Sheriff’s Communication Heart to report {that a} battery had occurred on the rallies.

Responding deputies discovered Kessler, who was affected by a head harm. Sheriff’s officers stated witness accounts indicated that Kessler was concerned in a bodily altercation with counter-protestor(s), and that throughout the altercation, Kessler fell backward and struck his head on the bottom.

He was taken to a hospital for “superior medical therapy” however succumbed to his accidents on Monday, authorities stated.

An post-mortem was carried out by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Workplace and “decided the reason for dying to be blunt power head harm and the style of dying murder,” in response to the sheriff’s division.

Anybody who witnessed or has information of the incident, or who was current on the demonstrations, was inspired to contact Detective Stump at 805-384-4745. Nameless suggestions might be despatched to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).