A group of roughly nine people, three Proud Boys in their signature yellow and black attire and six others in Nazi clothing attempted to interrupt a peaceful Drag Queen Story Time for children and families at a business on Franklin Boulevard today.
The would-be disrupters were met by roughly 50 people who, in defense of the drag-story hour, formed a barrier between them and the business where the event was held. They also escorted attendees to and from the event.
Evan Minton, a local political expert, was among those defending the drag-story hour.
“I also escorted families back and forth from the storefront to their cars, shielding them past protestors,” Minton said on Twitter.
The mother of a family who attended the event was grateful for the community support.
“These people are knights, they’re here to make sure we get home safe,” the mother told one of her children.
Sacramento police were out in force standing between the opposing groups, eyewitness video shows. Franklin Boulevard was briefly shut down as a result of the incident.
Sacramento police officers are seen in a video violently arresting one woman defending the strong hour and witnesses said police detained at least three others, which many have voiced displeasure with on social media.
“Put that energy into writing and let Sacramento officials know what you think about Sacramento police being a bodyguard and taxi service,” said @voicesofplacer.
Police violently shoving the woman to the ground can be seen in video on social media.
None of the Proud Boys or other disruptors were arrested or detained. Witnesses said that one Proud Boy was protected by the police as he was placed in a squad car and escorted away from the scene.
The owners of Poppy and Pot, the business that held the event, said they were targeted by Proud Boys and other hate groups in the days leading up to the event.
"We host it because it's so important to teach our kids and clearly adults too. The power of inclusivity, creative self-expression while embracing the joy of reading, that's what Drag Queen Story Hour is all about," Da'Reen Reichenberg, co-owner of Poppy + Pot told ABC10.
Reichenberg said her business started receiving lots of hateful messages and comments.
“It started with that, but then we found out White Lives Matter and Proud Boys shared our home address. They shared pictures of our kids," Reichenberg told ABC 10.
Local media reports seemed reluctant to report that there were Proud Boys among the group who intended to interrupt the Drag Queen Story Time event.
“Sacramento police could not confirm exactly what groups were out there but said they believe people out there were affiliated with hate and white supremacist groups,” ABC 10 reported.
Sacramento attorney Mark J. Reichel said on Twitter that uniforms said "Proud Boy" on them and several others wore shirts and hats saying "Proud Boys."
“It is safe to state that the peaceful drag story hour was threatened by the Proud Boys,” Reichel said. “They had a flier on their public social media page stating that they were going there to threaten people,” Reichel said.
Reichel suggested for the next City Council race, Sacramento voters should ask themselves where their councilperson was on this day.
“ … when actual dressed Nazis and Proud Boys were harassing a peaceful Sunday drag show in Curtis Park?” Reichel said on Twitter. “It’s become simply the “opposing viewpoint” to them and not a problem,” Reichel said.