Over the weekend, violence broke out in an Anaheim neighborhood after the office involved shooting death of 25-year-old Manuel Angel Diaz of Santa Ana.
From the Orange County Register:
ANAHEIM — Officers shot bean bags and pepper balls at a crowd of about 100 people – some throwing rocks and bottles – angered by an earlier police shooting that killed a man blocks away.
The melee ensued hours after a police officer shot a man he was chasing down an alley in the 600 block of North Anna Drive, Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.
Dunn said the officers shot the bean bags and pepper balls because the crowd was getting too close to the officers who were trying to detain a person suspected of being with a group that attempted to throw a bottle or rock at police.
It’s unclear whether the officers gave any warning before they used the ‘less-than-lethal’ force on the crowd.
The Orange County Register reported this morning:
Two police officers have been placed on paid leave after one of them fatally shot an unarmed man as he attempted to flee on foot in a residential alleyway, police Chief John Welter said Sunday.
The shooting victim, 25-year-old Manuel Angel Diaz of Santa Ana, was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 7 p.m. Saturday after being shot in the alley a few blocks northeast of downtown Anaheim.
Police described Diaz as a “documented gang member,” and said he was shot after the officers saw three men near a car in the 600 block of Anna Drive, near La Palma Avenue and State College Boulevard. Believing the activity to be suspicious, the officers approached the vehicle, and all three men fled on foot.
The officers chased Diaz and observed him throwing unidentified objects onto rooftops as he ran, Welter said. What led one of the officers to shoot Diaz remained under investigation Sunday, Welter said.
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said he would be asking California’s attorney general to assist in the investigation.
“I’m asking for a full investigation,” Tait said at a Sunday news conference. “Transparency is essential. Whatever the truth is, we will own it.”
Mayor Tait’s comments, and the actions and comments of Chief Welter, are in stark contrast to the response by Fullerton officials in the weeks following the death of Kelly Thomas after a beating he received at the hands of Fullerton police officers a little more than a year ago.
City leaders tried to calm the anger of residents who have protested for the past two days burning trash bins and pushing them into the streets blocking traffic.
“We will do everything we can to find the truth about what truly happened out there,” Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway said.
Mayor Tait added: “As with many people, I viewed the events and was very, very concerned with what I saw.”
Compared to the inaction of Fullerton, at least Anaheim leaders appear to be more responsive and concerned over the actions of their police officers.
We’ll have to see whether this attitude holds in the coming days.