America First! cancels Sunday’s rally in Laguna Beach but police still plan to be prepared – Orange County Register

LAGUNA BEACH Johnny Benitez, the organizer of the America First! rally that drew more than 2,300 protesters to Main Beach last month, has told Laguna Beach police that his plans for a rally on Sunday, Sept. 24 have been canceled.

“He told us he’s not coming,” said Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota. “But we will be there in full force to see who shows up. We’ll beef up patrols and will have support from our outside law enforcement friends. We’d rather be prepared than not be ready.”

Patrols at Main Beach will start in the early afternoon, Cota said.

At the Aug. 20 rally, Laguna Beach police were assisted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and more than a dozen local police agencies.

Dave Oakley, a member of the Orange County Democratic Socialists of America, said his group is not planning to appear at Main Beach on Sunday to counterprotest.

“Obviously I can’t guarantee that nobody will show up on Sunday, but it seems…

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