Call A Free Consultation
24 Hours - 7 Days

800-920-0810

Connect with us: facebook twitter google yelp

Protesters Clash With Police In Anaheim

Posted on July 25, 2012

Racial tensions are nothing new in Orange County. They have been a problem since Orange County broke away from Los Angeles County more than a century ago. Last night was no exception. An angry chorus of mostly Latino protesters clashed with police.

Simmering tensions in the wake of two deadly police shootings in Anaheim exploded into violence Tuesday night as protesters clashed with police outside City Hall even as officials voted to ask federal authorities to investigate the killings that have rocked the Orange County community.

Anaheim, California, 1922.

Anaheim, California, 1922. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Protesters hurled rocks, traffic cones and other objects at police clad in riot gear as officers chased people along sidewalks and streets throughout the evening and fired less-than-lethal projectiles into crowds after giving a dispersal order. Sirens wailed as officers formed skirmish lines and police from neighboring law enforcement agencies provided assistance.

Police said that at least five people were arrested on suspicion of assault and resisting arrest, and that a reporter from the Orange County Register was struck by a rock as angry crowds stood face to face with officers in tense standoffs. Fires were started in dumpsters, and at least one storefront had its windows broken as the skirmishes continued into the night.

The chaotic scene marked the fourth day of protests since officers shot two men to death over the weekend, outraging residents concerned about police conduct in Anaheim’s heavily Latino core.

Joel Mathew Acevedo was shot and killed after he fired at an officer Sunday night. A day earlier, Manuel Angel Diaz was killed after running from police on Anaheim’s east side. Five people have died in police shootings in the city this year.

On Tuesday, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait called for both state and federal investigations, in addition to an ongoing probe by the Orange County district attorney’s office. The FBI announced Tuesday it would review Diaz’s shooting to see whether it warranted a civil rights investigation.

At the City Council meeting, people surrounded the council chamber to speak out about the accusations of police brutality. Many were turned away from the packed chamber.

The council voted to ask the U.S. attorney’s office to launch a probe.

Outside, crowds faced off against police at two locations. At South Anaheim Boulevard and West Midway Drive, more than a mile from City Hall, a hostile crowd shouted profanity at officers. Some rocks were thrown.

At Anaheim and Broadway near City Hall, protesters threw bricks, bottles and shoes at officers. One man in a blue jersey was tackled and carried away by police. Others lit firecrackers as people gathered by a gas station and chanted “Si se puede,” or “Yes we can.”

Shortly before 9 p.m., police at the intersection declared an unlawful assembly and ordered the crowds to disperse.

Minutes later, officers fired the projectiles into the crowd as people fled down the streets.

Earlier Tuesday, attorneys for Diaz’s mother filed a civil-rights and wrongful-death lawsuit in federal court. The suit, which seeks $50 million in damages, alleges that her unarmed son was shot from behind and then, when he fell to his knees, was shot in the back of the head.

Responding to the litigation, the Anaheim Police Association provided the first explanation from the five-year officer who shot Diaz on Saturday afternoon.

According to the police union, officers saw “the documented gang member” who was holding a “concealed object in his front waistband with both hands.” Diaz then took off running, only to pull the object from his waistband and turn toward the officers.

“Feeling that Diaz was drawing a weapon, the officer opened fire on Diaz to stop the threat,” said Kerry Condon, the association’s president.

Officers reported that Diaz tossed away items as he ran, but no gun has been recovered.

Diaz’s mother called for residents to refrain from violent protest.

“This is wrong and needs to stop on both sides,” Genevieve Huizar said as she sobbed and clutched photos of her son Tuesday afternoon near a memorial on the fence next to where Diaz died.

Latino activists have met with the mayor and encouraged the city to institute a civilian police review board.

“They’ve seen everything on TV— the dogs, the shootings and just a history of brutality,” said Seferino Garcia, executive director of Solevar, an Anaheim community group. “Right now, the community is not going to stand idle. We have a job to do.”

Anaheim resident Oscar Velazquez, 25, said Latinos are harassed by police and recounted recently being patted down while walking to his home, a few blocks from Disneyland.

“I’ve been stopped for no reason,” he said. “You don’t want your neighbors to see you out there like that.”

If a loved one was the victim of a wrongful death caused by police brutality or some other form of negligence, 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.

News Service Disclaimer:iAccidentLawyer.comprovides this news service to keep you informed about accidents and events happening in and around your community. The information in these articles is obtained from a variety of secondary sources including press releases by law enforcement, websites, and news reports. This material is for general information only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed; for complete details about a given event or accident you should refer to an official police report. iAccidentLawyer.com may not represent the parties mentioned in these news articles. If you have been injured in the reported news article and you need our help please call, we can help you. The articles are for informational purposes only. Our law firm has been helping victims of serious injuries and their families for over 30 years. Call us for a free, no obligation consultation.

Lawyer Advertising. This website is designed for general information only, and in no way is intended to constitute legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship without a signed, written agreement. Testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. You pay no fees or costs unless we recover for you. This website contains dramatizations. Prior results are not a guarantee of a future outcome. iAccidentLawyer does not accept all cases and works cooperatively with co-counsel and/or other law firms with whom it has joint agreements who might potentially handle your cases. We look forward to helping you with your claim.

800-920-0810 iAccidentLawyer.com on Facebook Follow Us On G+ Reviews