Anaheim police murder sparks protest as officers respond with more brutality
July 22, 2012
A police shooting that left a man dead led to a near riot Saturday as angry witnesses threw bottles at officers who responded with tear gas and beanbag rounds.
Protesters stormed the police department shouting, “No justice, no peace!” and “Cops, pigs, murderers” as officers stood by.
The man was shot around 4 p.m. in front of an apartment complex on the 600 block of North Anna Drive following a foot chase, Anaheim Sgt. Bob Dunn said. He died three hours later at a hospital.
The Orange County Register cited family members and neighbors who said the man shot was Manuel Diaz. Dunn said he could not confirm the man’s name early Sunday.
His niece, 16-year-old Daisy Gonzalez, said her uncle likely ran away from officers when they approached him because of his past experience with law enforcement. “He (doesn’t) like cops. He never liked them because all they do is harass and arrest anyone,” Gonzalez said.
Residents, protesting what they say is an increased police violence against them in the community, started the near riot after the shooting on nearby La Palma.
Crystal Ventura, a 17-year-old who witnessed the shooting, told the Register the man had his back to the officer. She said the man was shot in the buttocks area. The man then went down on his knees, and she said he was struck by another bullet in the head. Another officer handcuffed the man who by then was on the ground and not moving, Ventura said.
“They searched his pockets, and there was a hole in his head, and I saw blood on his face,” she said.
Dunn said he could not comment on these allegations because the shooting is under investigation.
Jay Jackson, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, said Saturday night’s scene was chaotic.
The residents blocked off a street and set fire to at least one dumpster.
Earlier in the day, police in riot gear, fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Several protesters lifted their shirts to show large red welts on their torsos and backs.
One man said, “They just started shooting.”Residents told Jackson that police overreacted and created the disturbance.
Police also set a K-9 officer on one woman and a bystander they said were agitating the situation.
Said Susan Lopez, “I had my baby with me. My baby! The dog scratched me and then grabbed me.” She added, “They shot at me while I was holding a baby!” Another woman yelled, “They just shot at us, they shot at a little kid, too.”
According to police, two patrol officers observed three male suspects in an alley.
Police said the suspects tried to flee on foot when a chase ensued.
The shooting reportedly occurred after one of the officers encountered one of the suspects in a courtyard.
No officers were injured.
The other two suspects are at-large.
Dunn said, “What exactly led to the shooting, we don’t know. We’re still investigating. But a shooting did occur. And the male was taken to a hospital.”
Authorities said the circumstances regarding the shooting were under investigation by members of the gangs unit and Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Four people told Jackson that police offered to buy their cell phone video.