- Paul Kessler, 69, died on Monday around 10 hours after the protest altercation
- The suspect has not been named but is cooperating with police; he has not been charged
- Video shows the protest continued on after first responders arrived and anti-Semitic chants were said
A witness to the pro-Palestine 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 on even after police arrived at the scene.
Kessler, 69, attended the protest in Thousand Oaks with his wife Cheryl on Sunday.
Video obtained by RedState show the protest continued with attendees chanting vile remarks while first responders and law enforcement was on the scene.
Police have not named the other man nor have they arrested him.
At a press conference today, they revealed he had been cooperative, calling 911 when Kessler fell to the ground and started bleeding, and that he was still cooperative with the ongoing investigation.
A police officer is seen on video asking an unidentified man, who is unconfirmed if this is the suspect, ‘So you tried to hit his phone?’
With law enforcement in the background, protesters are heard chanting, ‘You will burn in hell; Israel will burn in hell.’
Another anti-Semitic chant can be heard, ‘Hitler didn’t want you, Hitler didn’t want you, Hitler didn’t want you, Hitler should’ve smashed you.’
Photos and videos from the aftermath of the incident show the man calmly talking with police while Kessler lay on the ground with blood pooling around his head.
Kessler was still conscious and speaking when he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, but was pronounced dead at 1.10am the following morning, nearly 12 hours after the altercation.
While there are photos and videos of the rally and the aftermath of the two men coming to blows, there is no footage of the moment Kessler fell, or of the alleged megaphone assault.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death as homicide by way of blunt force trauma to the head, but its Chief Medical Examiner today explained at a press conference that the determination does not automatically trigger a criminal charge.
Now, John von Colln – the man who filmed most of the footage from the rally – is railing against the authorities for not being harder on the other man involved in the altercation.
He insists it is a clear-cut case of murder. Sheriff’s deputies are not so convinced.
At their own press conference earlier in the day, they appealed for photos and videos of the incident and said witnesses had given ‘conflicting’ versions of precisely what happened.
Law enforcement carried out a search warrant at the home of the other man involved, but he has not been arrested and is not facing any charges as of yet.
‘What exactly transpired isn’t crystal clear right now,’ Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff said today.
‘I can just tell you the information we’re getting is conflicting with one another. There was clearly an 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 Kessler was a ‘private, family man’ who ‘would not want to be remembered as a martyr.’
‘He was a husband and a father to two children,’ he said, adding that the family is now ‘heartbroken and in shock.’
Funeral services are expected to take place later this week.
The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement on Kessler’s death.
‘We are deeply saddened by this tragic and shocking loss. We join local Jewish leaders in calling on all individuals to refrain from jumping to conclusions, sensationalizing such a tragedy for political gains, or spreading rumors that could unnecessarily escalate tensions that are already at an all-time high.’
‘While we strongly support the right of political debate, CAIR-LA and the Muslim community stand with the Jewish community in rejecting any and all violence, antisemitism, Islamophobia, or incitement of hatred,’ the statement said.