Take Back Anaheim has called for a protest rally outside Anaheim City Hall for 4 p.m. today to demand justice and accountability in the wake of the shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz on Saturday afternoon. Diaz was unarmed when he was shot twice by police. Later that afternoon officers used non-lethal measures (rubber bullets) to push back the crowd demanding a reason for the shooting. A police dog escaped from his handlers control and charged into the crowd, biting at least two people. Individuals lit trash bins on fire and blocked streets on Saturday and Sunday nights in the Anaheim neighborhood where the shooting took place.
The Orange County Register reported this morning:
A third day of protests began about 9 p.m. Monday when a group of 70 to 100 demonstrators, including the parents and other family members of those killed in the police shootings, marched through the neighborhood surrounding Anna Drive and La Palma Avenue. Organizers were advising participants to remain peaceful after a pair of drivers were “doing donuts” with their vehicles on La Palma.
The march ended about 9:45 p.m. after an emotional speech by Diaz’s mother.
Here is the release from Take Back Anaheim:
Take Back Anaheim Rallies on Steps of City Hall for Justice and True Representation!
When: Tuesday July 24, 2012; 4:00 PM
Where: 200 South Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim.
In the wake of yet another questionable fatal police shooting of a fleeing minority youth, Take Back Anaheim – joined by residents of Anna Street and fighters for justice across the county – will rally in support of THREE closely related demands, two of which will be voted on at the City Council meeting directly following:
- Accountability and reform in a Police Department that seems to have gone out of control;
- Reform of our City Council to a ward elections system, as the ACLU has been demanding, so that neighborhoods like Anna Street will have as much representation on Council as the wealthy Anaheim Hills area;
- and allowing the people of Anaheim a voice on the “Let the People Vote” initiative, to ensure that any future corporate subsidies will be attached to guarantees of LOCAL JOBS and INVESTMENT in the COMMUNITY.
Our second and third demands will be voted on shortly after this rally by the Council, as Council decides whether to put on November’s ballot both the Let the People Vote initiative and the question of changing to Ward Elections. It is also easy to see how accountability for the Police Department is much more likely to follow from better representation of all Anaheim neighborhoods.
While I understand the outrage at the actions of police, I am a bit confused how the shooting on Saturday is in any way related to the proposed Let the People Vote initiative, or the lawsuit demanding ward/district level elections for members of the City Council. It appears that the Take Back Anaheim organizers are trying to capitalize on the community outrage about the shooting of Manuel Diaz, to promote their own agenda.
It is unlikely that the Take Back Anaheim group has the votes on the Council to place their proposed Charter Initiative regarding taxpayer funded developer incentives. The group failed to gather the required number of signatures to get their proposed initiative on the ballot in November and a Council majority is opposed to the idea.
On the matter of holding a charter vote to settle the legal question of whether the current city-wide election process violates the California Voting Rights Act is something that should be decided by the courts. Civil rights should not be controlled by who can raise the most money to support or oppose an initiative. The idea of holding a vote on whether the city should have district level elections is a ruse to distract from the legal questions in this case.
I commend the organizers with Take Back Anaheim for their creativity, and their demands for justice on behalf of Manuel Diaz and his family. People can justifiably demonstrate on each individual issue, and they should. But there is no relevant linkage between the three issues.