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The Anaheim police brutality drama has not come to an end. Another violent protest against the deadly police shooting, which caused Manuel Diaz to lose his life and ended with 24 arrests and several injuries.
Protests have been going on for a few days, this time as many as 500 demonstrators and 250 police officers were confronting eachother for several hours. Most of the protesters acted peacefully but some became violent so the police had to use pepper balls and beanbag rounds.
The clash began after a City Council meeting in which different leaders from Anaheim, California voted to ask the U.S. attorney’s office to investigate the incidents from last weekend, which saw a shooting involving an officer that ended with the loss of Manuel Diaz’s life. Diaz was catalogued by the police as a known gang member but during the incident he was unarmed, which caused public outrage from the witnesses against the police. The protests have been going on since Saturday.
The council chamber surroundings were filled with protesters. At the beginning they were there peacefully, but as the place became overcrowded, some people pushed on the windows so the police had to push them back.
However, this was not the violence trigger, as the protesters just marched to the police headquarters and then back to the City Council. The event that lead to violent protests was the detention of a man who the police thought was armed, but in reality wasn’t, so the crowd started throwing rocks at the officers.
Sgt. of the Anaheim police Bob Dunn explained that the violent protesters seemed to be outsiders who wanted to provoke a violent clash between the police and the other protesters. At one point, the animosity at the protest escalated with Molotov cocktails being thrown, and business windows were smashed and trashcans were set on fire.
The night ended with the detention of 24 protesters, 20 adults and four minors, with five people hurt, a police officer, two members of the media and two protesters, but no life-threatening injuries were reported.
The Diaz family is suing the city and the Police Department, and is asking, according to their lawyer, for $50 million in compensation for damages.
The Police Chief John Welter explained that in Diaz’s case, two officers had approached three men, including Manuel Diaz, who were acting suspiciously in an alley. Upon noticing the officers the men ran away and Welter explained that Diaz failed to obey the police officers orders to stop, and while in pursuit, he threw a package which was believed to be heroin on to the roof of a complex building. The Police Chief did not explain the motives behind the police officers actions.
Image Courtesy of TypeMRT