A San Diego police officer remains hospitalized with significant injuries after being punched in the face near Chicano Park, where two opposing rallies were being held Saturday, SDPD said.
The circumstances that led to the assault were not made clear, but San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said the individual was arrested.
The unidentified SDPD officer was sent to the hospital with facial and nose fractures, SDPD Lt. Scott Wahl said.
SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman tweeted that she visited the officer in the hospital Sunday, where he remained with significant injuries. He was expected to make a full recovery.
On Saturday, a group of demonstrators who believe San Diego’s Chicano Park discriminates against non-Latinos was met with a large crowd of counter-protesters in Barrio Logan.
In all three people were arrested during the demonstrations at Chicano Park, located underneath Coronado Bay Bridge on Logan Avenue. The other two arrests were for possession of a billy club and for resisting arrest, SDPD said.
The rally, dubbed the Patriot Picnic, started at the San Diego Convention Center Saturday morning. Patriot Picnic organizer, Roger Ogden, described the gathering as a demonstration against the Chicano Park's "discrimination" and "radical political theme."
The group of about a couple-dozen demonstrators marched through Barrio Logan to Chicano Park where they were met by hundreds of park supporters. In all, about 700 people were present, SDPD said.
Barricades were put in place to separate groups, SDPD said. About two blocks of Logan Avenue, between Cesar E. Chavez Parkway and Evans Street, was shut down during the demonstrations.
The first Patriot Picnic rally was held in September 2017. Counter-demonstrators believe the picnics have racial undertones, a claim that Ogden denies.
Chicano Park in its current form dates back to the 1970s, when San Diego residents occupied Chicano Park in a successful effort to prevent the construction of a California Highway Patrol substation on the land where the City of San Diego had promised to build a park for the community. The park has served as a symbol to the predominantly Mexican-American community that makes up Barrio Logan since.
The park was designated a National Historic Landmark in January 2017 because it depicts a broad range of America’s rich, complex history, according to the U.S. Department of Interior.
Ogden believes that the park's depiction of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, through painted murals and flags, is part of what makes the park discriminatory to other groups.