On Saturday Anaheim Police Department officers openly fired bean bags, pepper spray and released an attack dog into a crowd that included women and children protesting an officer involved shooting earlier in the day. If that isn’t shocking enough, about 24-hours later Anaheim police killed another man who was allegedly driving a stolen car.
(You read that right, demonstrators who were protesting police brutality became victims of police brutality themselves and after all that cops shot a second guy that same weekend.)
Demonstrators gathered Saturday afternoon to demand the police department explain why officers shot and killed an unarmed 25-year-old male. The OC Register explains what went down just before the shooting:
Police described Diaz as a “documented gang member,” and said he was shot after the officers saw three men near a car in the 600 block of Anna Drive, near La Palma Avenue and State College Boulevard. Believing the activity to be suspicious, the officers approached the vehicle, and all three men fled on foot.
“What exactly happened during the shooting we don’t know, we’re still investigating that,” Sgt. Bob Dunn told KCAL-9 News on Saturday. “But the shooting occurred and the male was taken to a local hospital. “
The shooting victim, Manuel Angel Diaz of Santa Ana, was pronounced dead at the hospital at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“Once they shot him in the leg and he went down the cops continued and shot him in the head, what is that about? My brother didn’t have a weapon on him at all,” the victim’s sister Correna Chavez told KCBS-LA on Sunday.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said Sunday his officers fired bean bags and pepper spray at the crowd after “some known gang members” threw bottles and rocks at officers.
Welter also said the K-9 police dog seen in the video above “accidentally escaped” from an officer’s vehicle and rushed into the crowd. The dog bit two demonstrators, including one man who was trying to unbuckle his 1-year-old baby from a stroller.
Children present at the protest describe the scenes. (YouTube/Nauiocelotl)
“They’re saying they let the dog go out by accident but it was on purpose,” said a young girl in the video to the right uploaded to YouTube Sunday. “We saw the dog stop but then it just kept on going.”
A 5-year-old girl was also hit in the eye by a “rubber bullet,” according to another young resident in the video.
Almost 90% of the community where the shooting took place is Latino, according to public records.
The Mayor of Anaheim has asked the State Attorney to investigate the initial shooting.
“I’m asking for a full investigation,” Tait said at a Sunday news conference. “Transparency is essential. Whatever the truth is, we will own it.”
That statement didn’t mean much to residents because on Sunday night protests continued. Local news reports at 11pm Sunday showed two large trash containers that were lit on fire near the intersection where Diaz was shot.
An hour and a half later the OCWeekly broke the news that Anaheim police had shot and killed a second male. By 2am Monday morning 200 protesters are on the scene.
Details about the latest shooting are still emerging but according to the OCRegister it all started after “officers spotted a known gang member on probation in what they soon determined was a stolen car.”
In 2012 alone, there have been seven officer-involved shootings in Anaheim, according to Presente.org.