Demonstrators protest California police shooting
Sunday, July 22, 2012
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Demonstrators stormed a police department in Orange County, Calif., on Sunday to protest an officer-involved shooting that left a man dead and led to a violent clash between witnesses and police.
A crowd filled the Anaheim Police headquarters’ lobby Sunday as Chief John Welter prepared to hold a news conference.
Protestors chanted “no justice, no peace” and “cops, pigs, murderers” as officers stood by and watched, according to the Orange County Register.
It was unclear whether the press conference would go on. Earlier, Sgt. Bob Dunn said only credentialed journalists would be admitted “because of security concerns.”
Welter was to address the shooting and confrontation Saturday in which a crowd threw bottles at officers who responded with tear gas and beanbag rounds.
The man was shot in front of an apartment complex around 4 p.m. Saturday following a foot chase, Dunn said. He died three hours later at a hospital.
The Register cited family members and neighbors who identified the man as Manuel Diaz. Dunn said he could not confirm the man’s name Sunday.
The man’s niece, 16-year-old Daisy Gonzalez, said her uncle likely ran away from officers when they approached him because of his past experience with law enforcement.
“He (doesn’t) like cops. He never liked them because all they do is harass and arrest anyone,” Gonzalez told the newspaper after lighting a candle for her uncle. She cursed at officers who were nearby.
As officers were investigating what happened at the scene, Dunn said an angry group of people began yelling and throwing bottles at them. He said that as officers detained several people, the crowd advanced on the officers so they fired tear gas and beanbag rounds.
Video captured by a KCAL-TV crew showed a chaotic scene in which officers fired beanbag rounds as some people ducked to the ground and others scattered screaming. A man is seen yelling at an officer even as a weapon is pointed at him; two adults huddled to shield a boy and girl. Meanwhile, a police dog ran into several people sitting on the grass, including a woman and a child in a stroller, before biting a man in the arm.
Dunn said the dog somehow got out of a patrol car and was “deployed accidentally.”
Throughout the night, police in multiple marked and unmarked squad cars attempted to control an unruly crowd gathered near the shooting scene, the Register reported.
Some in the crowd moved a Dumpster into an intersection and set its trash on fire on at least three separate occasions, while officers kept responding to move it out of the way of traffic.
Dunn said gang detectives are involved in the investigation.