California officers ask for the general public’s assist as they examine the demise of a Jewish man throughout Israel-Hamas struggle protests

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Richard Vogel/AP

Flowers and candles are left at a makeshift shrine positioned on the scene in Thousand Oaks, California, the place Paul Kessler fell and fatally hit his head on November 7.


Kessler, the sheriff mentioned, was supporting Israel on the demonstrations – two among the many many who have sprung up in cities throughout the US, both in assist of Israel or to protest its retaliation for the October 7 Hamas assaults, which killed greater than 1,400 folks.

Israel has launched a navy offensive that has killed greater than 10,000 folks in Gaza, in accordance with the Palestinian Ministry of Well being in Ramallah, drawing from sources within the Hamas-controlled enclave.

Kessler’s demise is being investigated as a murder and authorities haven’t dominated out the opportunity of a hate crime, the sheriff mentioned.

Although Kessler’s method of demise has been dominated a murder, the medical designation doesn’t imply against the law has been dedicated, Dr. Christopher Younger, Ventura County’s chief health worker mentioned Tuesday.

“It’s merely stating that the demise occurred by the hands of one other particular person or the actions of one other particular person contributed to the demise,” Younger mentioned, noting the district legal professional’s workplace will decide whether or not the murder warrants felony fees.

Earlier than Kessler’s deadly fall, there had been no violent encounters in the course of the almost two dozen protests which were held throughout the county since Hamas raided Israel on October 7, the sheriff mentioned.

One video filmed on the scene exhibits Kessler mendacity on his again on the sidewalk, with blood on his face and on the bottom. He locations his arms on his head as a lady with a Palestinian flag on her again and a person lean over him, attempting to assist, the video exhibits.

The footage doesn’t present the altercation that led to Kessler’s accidents.

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This picture, taken Sunday, exhibits Paul Kessler holding an Israeli flag on the intersection the place the altercation would later happen.

Investigators decided {that a} pro-Palestinian protester had been concerned in an altercation with Kessler, who sooner or later fell backward and hit his head on the bottom, authorities mentioned.

Investigators interviewed pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian witnesses on the scene who offered contradicting accounts of who the aggressor was within the interplay and the way the altercation occurred, in accordance with the sheriff.

Kessler was given medical support by Ventura County Hearth Division responders and brought to a hospital, the place he was listed in vital situation, in accordance with the sheriff.

His situation continued to deteriorate till he was pronounced lifeless shortly after 1 a.m., the health worker mentioned.

The post-mortem additionally revealed Kessler suffered accidents according to a fall, together with cranium fractures, mind swelling and bruising, and non-lethal accidents to his face, in accordance with Younger.

Nonetheless, the federation condemned violence towards members of the Jewish neighborhood, saying it “has no place in civilized society” and vowing to “do all the pieces in our energy to forestall it.”

“We demand security,” the assertion mentioned.

The rabbi inspired anybody with footage of the incident to share it with investigators.

The Better Los Angeles Space workplace of the Council on American-Islamic Relations mentioned it’s “deeply saddened by this tragic and stunning loss.”

CNN’s Dakin Andone, Taylor Romine, Nouran Salahieh, Jillian Sykes, Stephanie Elam and Jason Kravarik contributed to this report.

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