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Anaheim Protesters Still In Custody

Posted on August 8, 2012

Trouble is brewing near the happiest place on earth. For the past few weeks, Anaheim residents have been clashing with local police.

Four people remain in custody two weeks after they were arrested in a protest that turned violent outside of City Hall.

English: Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle o...

English: Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle on May 5, 2005, the day the Happiest Homecoming on Earth celebration began. The decorations were added the night before. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The protests followed two deadly officer-involved shootings in the city.

The shootings sparked several days of unrest that included looting and vandalism of several downtown businesses. Following the shooting of two suspected Latino gang members, residents and civic leaders called for outside agencies to investigate the officer-involved shootings, including a review of four other previous shootings involving officers with the Anaheim Police Department this year.

During protests on July 24 and July 29, a total of 30 people were taken into custody on various charges, including resisting arrest, throwing objects at police, failure to disperse and vandalism.

According to Anaheim Police and arrest logs, four of those 30 people remain in custody as of Wednesday morning, including a 20-year-old man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of trespassing and resisting arrest during the July 24 demonstrations.

The City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting at Anaheim High School Wednesday to consider a measure that would change how council members are elected in the city of more than 336,000 residents, where more than 50 percent are Latino.

Community leaders and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit against Anaheim, arguing that the election process shuts out Latinos. The suit asks the city to elect council members by districts, arguing that it would improve representation of everyone in the city. One of the main complaints of the protesters has been the lack political representation in some Anaheim neighborhoods.

Before the meeting at 2:30 p.m., several groups plan to hold a press conference asking for the release of those protesters still in custody. Among those expected to ask for their release are: Roger Ditman, former president of the Unitarian Universalists of Orange County; Richard Olquin of the Orange County chapter of the ACLU; Keith James of the Stop Mass Incarceration Committee; and Caree Harper, an attorney representing the family of a man who was shot by police in Pasadena.

According to arrest records, most of the 30 people who were arrested have been released after being cited or posting bond. Two of them were minors and their information could not be verified.

Those still in custody include Edgar Ibarra, 35, Marco Villeda, 18, Luis Rodriguez, 31, and Aaron Guardado, 20. All four men were transferred from Anaheim Detention Facility to county jail after they were arrested July 24.

According to court records, Guardado has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of trespassing and resisting arrest, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years of informal probation after the protests.

Ibarra faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and throwing a substance with the intent to injure. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Villeda has pleaded not guilty to resisting a police officer.

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault with a weapon on a police officer. Charges of resisting arrest and refusing to disperse have been dismissed.

If a loved one was the victim of police brutality or some other form of negligent misconduct, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you determine if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

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