Demonstrators stormed a police department in Orange County, Calif., on Sunday to protest an officer-involved shooting that left a man dead and led to a violent clash between witnesses and police,” according to the Associated Press, as reported by ABC News.
This mess started when Anaheim “Police shot and fatally wounded a man on Saturday about 4 p.m. while patrolling an area in the 700 block of North Anna Drive, a location police say they have seen a spike in crime,” according to NBC News.
The victim was known as “Stomper.” His real name was Manuel Diaz.
The dead man’s mother told reporters that he was shot in the back and then in the head. This was backed up by “Crystal Ventura, a 17-year-old who witnessed the shooting, told the Register that the man had his back to the officer. Ventura said the man was shot in the buttocks area. The man then went down on his knees, she said, adding that he was struck by another bullet in the head. Ventura said another officer handcuffed the man, who by then was on the ground and not moving,” according to ABC News.
As Anaheim police showed up to investigate a crowd gathered and quickly grew unruly. You can’t blame the Anaheim residents for being angry at the cops. The O.C. Register reported that “Weekly protests are held in front of police headquarters on Harbor Boulevard, led by relatives of those who have died in officer-involved shootings, including the families of Justin Hertl (2003), Caesar Cruz (2009), David Raya (2011), Marcela Ceja (2011), Bernie Villegas (January) and Roscoe Cambridge (January).”
The protest in this case grew out of control as Anaheim cops started shooting rubber bullets – at women and children, and a police dog got loose and started biting people. You can see the startling CBS News video at this link. (Note – I tried to embed the video here but the embed code used by CBS News did not work).
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter has suspended the officers involved in the shooting of Diaz, but that won’t buy the Anaheim P.D. much good will from the angry residents. “Last month, Anaheim City Manager Bob Wingenroth recommended the City Council conduct an independent review into major police incidents, including officer-involved shootings,” according to the OC Weekly.
Adding to the mistrust in Anaheim is the fact that there are no Latinos serving on the Anaheim City Council, although a leading Council candidate, Steve Chavez Lodge, is a Latino and he is also a former decorated SAPD officer. That has not mollified the ACLU however as they recently announced a lawsuit to compel the City of Anaheim to change their elections to district-specific elections, wherein Latino candidates would have a better chance of winning.
Most of the current Anaheim Council Members were elected with help from a Political Action Committee called SOAR (Support our Anaheim Resort Area), that pretty much exists to give Disney and other area employers, particularly the resort hotels, almost complete political control in the city. Click here to see who is on SOAR’s board – no, there are no Latinos on their board either.
Current SOAR-backed candidates include Jordan Brandman, a single guy who has nothing at all in common with most of Anaheim’s residents.
Will this latest alleged police brutality result in political repurcussions in Anaheim? Click here to see who is currently running for the Anaheim City Council in November.