Anaheim Burning with Outrage after Officer Involved Shooting

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:

Fatal police shooting incites melee in Anaheim

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.

Anaheim residents protest shooting

Anaheim police officers arrive at 9:10pm Sunday to deal with a burning dumpster pushed into the middle of La Palma Avenue by protesters. Some residents were voicing their anger Sunday after a police-involved shooting resulted in the death of Manuel Diaz Saturday.

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.

  6 comments for “Anaheim Burning with Outrage after Officer Involved Shooting

  1. July 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

    At least two of Anaheim’s leaders appear to be more responsive, etc. Fullerton had two out of five also, though: Sharon Quirk-Silva and Bruce Whitaker. You need three.

  2. July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Anaheim Mayor Tait – under suspicion

    “Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said he would be asking California’s attorney general to assist in the investigation.”

    What’s Tait’s motive?

    Isn’t the assistance of the OC District Attorney’s Office adequate?
    Isn’t the assistance of the OC Sheriff’s Office adequate?
    Isn’t the assistance of the OC Grand Jury adequate?

    Why is Anaheim’s Mayor Tom Tait casting doubt on the accuracy the Anaheim Police Department’s Internal Affairs’ investigation and report BEFORE the report is published?

    • Cynthia ward
      July 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      Mr. Lauten, you are the ONLY person I have heard question Tom Tait on this issue, so,I have to question your motives. Mayor Tait has spent his new administration getting out there and meeting people in the neighborhoods, he has done a “flashlight walk” in the Ponderosa neighborhood with Police, trying to help them get control of their neighborhood back from the gangs. He has done a peace march in the neighborhood where that shooting/protest took place. Council authorized the City Manager to bring in outside investigators to get to the bottom of the increased shootings. Anaheim has learned from Fullerton. Remember when the DA first took on the Fullerton problems? We all screamed that T Rack had never prosecuted an OC cop! So Tait calls formhelpmfrom the AG and that isn’t good enough either? What do you want? I for one am grateful that Mayor Tait is in that seat, he is a good man who wants desperately todo the right thing.

      • July 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        The Anaheim City Council panicked.

        It’s standard protocol for the OC District Attorney’s Office to investigate Police Officer involved shootings. The rioting mobs caused the Anaheim City Council and City Manager to panic and call for additional investigations from California’s District Attorney’s Office and from the US Attorney’s Office; their panic undermines the credibility of the OC District Attorney’s Office and the Anaheim Police Department’s Internal Affairs investigations.

        The key word is “BEFORE”.

        The City Council called for State and Federal investigations BEFORE the Local and County investigations were published; their panicked actions imply State and/or Federal control of Local Police. What’s next for Anaheim – perhaps a Civilian Review Board with gang member participation? No doubt some Anaheim City Council members would say “Yes” the diversity will bring us together.

    • Ltpar
      July 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Mr Lauten, the answer is simple, he is politician and sways whichever direction the wind is blowing. To cover his butt in the minority community, Tait wants to throw the Officer under the bus. The Orange County District Attorney, like him, or hate him, does a very thorough investigation of every Police related shooting in the County. They have a staff of expert Investigators who are very good at what they do. On the other hand, the Attorney General’s Office has no such experts and does not regularly investigate Officer related shootings. In addition to the investigation by the District Attorney, it is also common for most Police Departments to use an independent Administrative Investigation to assure that all policies and procedures were folowed. The request to the Attorney General was clearly political overkill.

  3. Ken
    July 25, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I think we all know what went on there and it’s not over. It’s a gang infested area that needs to be cleaned up.

Comments are closed.