A witness to the pro-Palestinian protest that led to the death of Jewish man Paul Kessler today railed against local police for not arresting the man Kessler argued with – as new video shows, the protest continued, even after police arrived on the scene.
Kessler, 69, attended the protest in Thousand Oaks on Sunday with his wife, Cheryl.
Witnesses say he and an as-yet-unnamed Palestinian supporter began arguing, leading to the man hitting Kessler in the face with his megaphone.
Video obtained by Red state shows the protest continued with attendees chanting vile comments while first responders and law enforcement were on the scene.
Police have not yet named the other man or arrested him.
At a press conference today, they revealed that he had cooperated by calling 911 when Kessler fell to the ground and began bleeding, and that he was still cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Video shows the protest continued after first responders arrived to treat Kessler
A witness to the protest that led to the death speaks out against local police for not arresting the man who argued with Kessler
Paul Kessler, 69, died after arguing with a man at a pro-Palestinian rally in California
Video shows a police officer asking an unidentified man, who is not known to be the suspect, “So you tried to hit his phone?”
With law enforcement in the background, protesters can be heard chanting, “You will burn in hell; Israel will burn in hell.”
Another anti-Semitic chant sounds: ‘Hitler didn’t want you, Hitler didn’t want you, Hitler didn’t want you, Hitler should have crushed you.’
Photos and videos from the aftermath of the incident show the man calmly talking to police as Kessler lay on the ground with a pool of blood around his head.
Kessler was still conscious and speaking when he was taken to hospital by ambulance, but was pronounced dead at 1:10 am the next morning, almost 12 hours after the altercation.
While there are photos and videos of the meeting and the aftermath of the two men clashing, there is no footage of the moment Kessler fell, or of the alleged megaphone attack.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death to be homicide by blunt force trauma to the head, but the Chief Medical Examiner explained at a news conference today that the determination does not automatically lead to a criminal charge.
Now John von Colln – the man who filmed most of the footage of the meeting – is railing against authorities for not taking tougher action against the other man involved in the altercation.
Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff said police are receiving conflicting reports about what happened
Some witnesses claimed Kessler was hit in the head with a megaphone by a pro-Palestinian protester
He insists it is a clear case of murder. Sheriff’s deputies aren’t so convinced.
At their own press conference earlier in the day, they called for photos and videos of the incident, saying witnesses had given “conflicting” versions of what exactly happened.
Police have served a search warrant at the home of the other man involved, but he has not yet been arrested and no charges have been filed.
“What exactly happened is not crystal clear at this point,” Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff said today.
“All I can tell you is that the information we’re getting is conflicting. There was clearly interaction between the two, but what that level of interaction is is still unclear.’
Fryhoff said: ‘Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime and this is being investigated as a homicide.’
Rabbi Ari Averbach of Temple Etz Chaim told DailyMail.com that Kessler was a “private family man” who “would not want to be remembered as a martyr.”
“He was a husband and father of two children,” he said, adding that the family is now “heartbroken and in shock.”
The funeral service is expected to take place later this week.
Mourners visit the site where Paul Kessler was killed at the intersection of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Westlake Road
A tribute to Kessler has been built at the site of the altercation. The funeral service is expected to take place later this week
The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a message rack upon Kessler’s death.
‘We are deeply saddened by this tragic and shocking loss. We join local Jewish leaders in calling on all individuals not to jump to conclusions, sensationalize such a tragedy for political gain, or spread rumors that could unnecessarily escalate tensions that are already at an all-time high .’
“While we strongly support the right to political debate, CAIR-LA and the Muslim community stand with the Jewish community in rejecting any violence, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and incitement to hatred,” the statement said.