Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageProtests as Anaheim PD faces evidence-buying claims

By Anne Sewell     Jul 23, 2012 in World
Anaheim - In the wake of the shooting of an unarmed man in Anaheim, Ca, protesters stormed the Anaheim police station. Demonstrators chanted "no justice, no peace" and "cops, pigs, murderers."
Digital Journal reported on the shooting of an unarmed man in Anaheim on Saturday, which was followed by angry residents being attacked with rubber bullets and canines.
Witnesses to the police-involved shooting of the unarmed man, Manuel Diaz, say that officers offered to buy up cell phone footage of the brutality that followed the shooting.
The community has been outraged by the incident, and demonstrations were held on Sunday outside, and also briefly inside, the Anaheim PD headquarters, just as Police Chief John Welter was preparing a press-only news conference on the assault.
Protesters at Anaheim PD
Protesters at Anaheim PD
twitter.com @MikePrysner
The Anaheim PD claims that the crowd of witnesses became unruly following the shooting, and alleges that they set a fire at a neighborhood intersection, while others threw rocks and bottles at the police officers.
According to the video captured by a KCAL-TV crew, above, police stormed an area filled with mostly women and children, with no fire in sight. However, CBS reporter, Jay Jackson did confirm that shortly before 10 pm Saturday, there was in fact a dumpster fire in the neighborhood after local residents formed a small protest demanding answers from the police. The fire, however, did not apparently occur before, or during, the ruckus in the video above.
In the video, police are shown firing rubber bullets on a crowd of terrified women and children and shortly afterwards, a German Shepherd canine attacks first a woman and her child and then a man who is sitting next to them.
Towards the end of the video, Jackson says that "at least four" people present during the fracas told him that officers on the scene offered to "buy" cell phone video footage of the incident from witnesses.
Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn told The Times that the incident began on Saturday when two patrol officers tried to approach three men in an alley in the 600 block of North Anna Drive about 4 p.m.
Dunn said that it was unclear why they approached the men, but also said they gave chase and one of the officers followed one of the men to the front of an apartment complex in the 700 block of North Anna, where the shooting occurred about 4 p.m. The man was taken to a hospital, where he died about 7 p.m., according to authorities
Dunn states that while police remained at the scene to investigate the shooting, they were encircled by a group of people throwing bottles and possibly rocks at the police officers.
He states that at one point, the crowd also pushed a dumpster holding burning trash toward police.
He says that officers then used non-lethal rounds and pepper balls to control the crowd.
In relation to the police dog, he says it "got free from an officer's car and charged at several people before it was pulled back."
The incident is still under investigation and the officer who shot Diaz has been put on desk duty.
Mayor Tom Tait said he will ask the state attorney general to assist in the probe.
"Transparency is essential. Whatever the truth is, we will own it," Tait said.
The Register recently reported that a review of police shootings in the Anaheim area has been launched. An outside investigator will conduct an independent review of "major police incidents," including officer-involved shootings in the area.
There have been weekly protests by relatives of those who have died in officer-involved shootings, in front of the Anaheim police headquarters on Harbor Boulevard. These include the families of Justin Hertl (2003), Caesar Cruz (2009), David Raya (2011), Marcela Ceja (2011), Bernie Villegas (January) and Roscoe Cambridge (January).
In each case, there have been no criminal findings against the police officers involved.
Theresa Smith, the mother of Caesar Cruz, 35-year-old Fullerton father shot outside a Walmart at Anaheim Plaza in 2009, fought back tears when she heard the announcement about the investigation which was announced at Tuesday night's council meeting.
Smith has been leading protests since spring 2010, months after her son died, and says, "I can barely believe I was hearing it right. I've waited a long time."
More about Anaheim, Police, Brutality, Evidence, Video
More news from
Latest News
Top News