Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images.
Two fatal Anaheim Police Department-related shootings have sparked four days of protests in the California city, turning increasingly violent as police responded to demonstrators—some of whom threw projectiles at officers—by firing non-lethal projectiles at protesters who refused a dispersal order.
While the scene had reportedly calmed down by Wednesday morning, 24 were arrested on Tuesday night during clashes with police that involved about 500 protesters and 250 officers, the Associated Pres reports. The demonstrations were reportedly largely comprised of residents attempting to attend a city council meeting that evening. Protesters threw shoes, rocks, and bottles at police throughout the standoff, and set trash cans on fire. Officers in riot gear used soft bullets and pepper balls on the crowd.
Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, was shot and killed on Saturday as he ran away from the police, according to the Orange County Register. He was unarmed. Police had approached Diaz and two other men standing by a car because they thought their activity was suspicious. All three fled. A video posted by OC Weekly reportedly shows the scene just after Diaz was shot. In an unrelated incident, a second man was shot and killed on Sunday by an officer after he opened fire during a foot pursuit. Both officer-related shootings are being investigated by the district attorney's office.
The protests began soon after Diaz's death on Saturday as angry witnesses gathered to vent their anger at the police. Officers met the crowd with tear gas and rubber bullets. A K-9 police dog also attacked a woman holding a young child, according to the local CBS affiliate. Police have said that the dog was set loose by accident. Other protests, including a march on Monday at which Diaz's mother spoke, have been more peaceful, according to the Register.
Diaz's family filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Anaheim asking for $50 million in damages. The FBI is investigating whether a civil-rights investigation is needed, and city officials have asked the U.S. attorney's office and the state Attorney General to investigate, the Orange County Register reports.