Anaheim sees days of raucous protest after fatal police shooting

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 8:00am

Angry residents -- distressed over the fatal police shooting of a local man over the weekend - hit the streets of Anaheim, California Tuesday for a fourth day of protest marred by demonstrator vandalism and police use of force.

At least one store front was smashed, and police have confirmed firing crowd control bean bag and rubber bullet guns. Garbage containers were set alight, and in one incident, police lost control over a dog, which attacked and bit at least one person.

Police Chief John Welter apologized for the dog attack and said the city would cover the cost of treatment.

The street rage started Saturday on the scene of the fatal shooting of Manuel Diaz, 25, described by police as a gang member, CNN affiliate KCAL reported.

Cell phone video taken at the scene and posted to Youtube showed residents confronting police officers as they ordered bystanders to back farther away from the man lying face-down in a nearby lawn, before they cordoned off the area with yellow police tape.

Dozens of people surrounded the police officers; some threw objects at them and rolled a burning trash dumpster in their direction, according to affiliate KTLA.

Police responded with rubber bullets and pepper spray. One demonstrator showed the television news station bruises she said she suffered from rubber bullets fired at the crowd.

On Sunday, protesters jammed into the Anaheim Police Department to complain about shootings involving police officers.

Later the same night -- in a separate incident -- police shot and killed a second man, who they also considered a gang member, when he allegedly opened fire on police, KABC reported.

On Monday hundreds held a vigil for Diaz chanting in Spanish, according to KTLA.

Anaheim's Mayor, Tom Tait, asked for the assistance of state and federal authorities Monday to assess the shootings.

"Like many residents, I am very, very concerned with what occurred in our city on Saturday night," he said.

Tuesday's protests began in the afternoon, when more than 100 demonstrators gathered in front of City Hall, blocking a major street and delaying a scheduled meeting of the city council, according to KABC. The protesters were met by an equal showing of police officers.

Some demonstrators threw bottles and traffic cones, and police forced a man to the ground and arrested him for allegedly throwing a rock, KCAL reported.

Helicopter video showed protesters on the streets after 11 p.m. as well as dozens of police vehicles with lights flashing.

A lawyer representing Diaz' family, Diana Lopez, said Diaz had not committed a crime when he was shot and was unarmed at the time, KTLA reported.

Lopez said the family plans to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit over the death.

Affiliates KABC and KCAL reported that police also said Diaz was unarmed but was throwing unknown objects while running from police.

Police in Anaheim were involved in six shootings so far in 2012, all but one of which were fatal, according to KTLA.
 

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