In Anaheim, Protests Erupt Over Police Shooting Of Unarmed Man

Jul 23, 2012

Over the weekend things have been very tense in Anaheim, Calif. For two days, people have protested the shooting death of an unarmed man by a police officer.

As the AP reports, last night protesters set fire to a dumpster after earlier having stormed the police headquarters lobby "as the police chief prepared to hold a news conference to discuss the case."

The AP adds:

"Protesters chanted 'no justice, no peace' and 'cops, pigs, murderers' as officers stood by and watched a demonstration over the Saturday officer-involved shooting."

"Police Chief John Welter said two officers were placed on paid leave after one of them fatally shot Manuel Diaz, 24, Saturday afternoon.

"He said the officers approached three men who were acting suspiciously in an alleyway when they ran away. One of the officers chased Diaz to the front of an apartment complex where the shooting occurred."

Police said that Diaz was a "documented gang member," but protesters said that is no excuse for the shooting.

"They are saying everywhere he was a gang member and that he deserved it," Juan Brito told the Orange County Weekly. "If he was, does that give the police the right to kill him? Cops are supposed to lead by example. How are we supposed to look up to them if they keep killing people?"

The OC Weekly reports that on Saturday, police unleashed non-lethal force on protesters who gathered near the scene of the shooting.

The Orange County Register says that aggravating the situation was the fact that a K-9 police dog attacked a crowd of protesters.

During his press conference, Welter said the dog got loose accidentally.

"We are extremely sorry for the people who were bit," Welter said. "The city will be responsible for all medical bills associated with the dog. The canine officer responsible for the dog is devastated by this."

The community has protested officer-related shootings in the past. OC Weekly has a story from last March about people coming to a meeting with the Anaheim Police Department to express their concern.

Late Sunday, at about 11:20 p.m. on the West Coast, an officer shot and killed another man they said was shooting at them.

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