Meet the 'Jewish Batman' Who Rescued Klansmen

(JTA) — Is Brian Levin a hero? It depends who you ask.

For three long minutes on Saturday, Levin was all that stood between an angry, violent mob and some Ku Klux Klan demonstrators in Anaheim, California, in Levin’s retelling of the episode.

A former New York Police Department officer who is now director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, Levin was on hand to document the KKK rally, as he has many other extremist demonstrations over the years.

But he quickly found himself a part of the action when a violent melee greeted the arrival of the KKK members in their oversized SUV.

“There was a mob stomping on a Klansman who had fallen or was pushed to the ground,” Levin said in his breathless recollection of the confrontation, which made headlines around the country after three people were stabbed and 13 arrested.

Embed this video

“There were football player-sized people kicking him in the face and the abdomen. I crouched over him so he wouldn’t be kicked, and I said, ‘Do not hit this man.’”

When asked how he was able to hold off the assailants, who he said were wielding a wooden plank and a metal rod, Levin said he used the authoritative voice he honed during five years of service on the NYPD in the late 1980s.

“I don’t know if I would call it heroics,” Levin said.

White supremacist website Daily Stormer dubbed him the “Jewish Batman.”

Levin is no fan of the Klan, but this wasn’t the first time he has come to the aid of a white supremacist in distress, he said, recalling a similar incident in 1998 in Warren, Ohio.

After the cops arrived and order was restored, someone asked one of the KKK members how it felt to have his life saved by a Jewish guy.

“He said thank you,” Levin said.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Meet the 'Jewish Batman' Who Rescued Klansmen

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close