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“No justice, no peace” and “cops, pigs, murderers,” were the words the protesters chanted against a deadly police shooting in Anaheim, California this weekend.
The protesters congregated on Sunday on the outsides of the police department to protest against an officer-involved shooting that left a man dead and led to a violent clash between the police and the witnesses.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter held a press conference to explain what happened on Saturday (July 24). He stated that two officers were put on paid leave after one of them fatally injured Manuel Diaz, a 24-year-old man who the police said was a known gang member, even though no weapon was found on Diaz.
Chief Welter said the officers approached three men in an alleyway when they ran away, and Manuel Diaz was one of those men. One of the officers chased Diaz to the front of an apartment complex where the shooting occurred. Diaz died in a hospital a few hours later. Welter did not explain why the police officer shot Diaz.
After the shooting, angry witnesses threw bottles and other objects to the officers who immediately responded with tear gas and beanbag rounds. Also, a police dog got out of a car and attacked a woman who was holding her children, which made the situation even worse. Violent protests have occurred during the whole weekend.
In reference to the dog incident Chief Welter said they were extremely sorry and added “I’m certainly very concerned about anyone who was bit. It’s embarrassing to us. The officer, I’m telling you, was just devastated.”
Anaheim’s Mayor Tom Tait wants to solve this crisis as soon as possible; during a press conference he said that “transparency is essential” and that “the investigation will seek the truth. And whatever the truth is, we will own it.”
This is not the first case of citizen outrage against actions done by the police in California. In 2011 a video appeared on the internet of an officer blasting pepper spray on the face of protesters who were peacefully seated at northern California university. The officer’s actions–who was a member of the university police force–led to indignation and anger from the crowd at the scene, who started shouting to the officer.
The officer was dressed in riot gear so his face was covered and just left the scene after the crowd started shouting. Nine of the students were treated on the scene and only two were taken to the hospital and released the same day. Numerous Twitter and Facebook accounts criticized the officer’s actions and supported the students’ protests.