Storefront windows smashed, a police car on fire and 600 demonstrators clashing with police. This was the scene in Anaheim, California, as police protests turned violent early Wednesday. 24 protesters were arrested, including four minors.
Anaheim is home to Disneyland and the Angels baseball team. Over the weekend, the city just 25 miles away from Los Angeles, witnessed two fatal police shootings. This Wednesday morning about 600 protestors clashed with police forces angered over the weekend police shootings. The Anaheim police protests turned violent in the fourth day, with one officer dead and 24 demonstrators arrested.
It’s not a scene you’d commonly expect to see in the city where Disneyland is. Protesters smashed the windows of several storefronts, threw water bottles and rocks at riot geared police officers. MSNBC reports several fires were set throughout the night. Police officers also say protesters set on fire a police car with a Molotov cocktail.
During the seven-hour standoff between protesters and Anaheim police, two reports were injured, as well as several demonstrators. Eventually 24 people were arrested, including four minors.
Over the weekend, police officers shot dead two men. It would be Anaheim’s sixth police shooting this year, out of which five were fatal. Manuel Diaz, a man killed Saturday, sparked controversy in Anaheim. He was shot while he ran away, on suspicion he was carrying a gun. Police said they didn’t find a gun though. The Diaz family is now filing a civil rights lawsuit against the city and the police department.
Diaz’ family lawyer James Rumm explained the family is seeking $50 million in damages and added they strongly believe he was shot dead while running away. According to the court papers, Manuel Diaz was shot in the leg and in the back of his head. Mayor Tom Tait said of the shooting description to be “unsettling”.
The Anaheim police department said the men killed this weekend were both gang members with criminal records. Kerry Condon, president for the police association, said: “I believe that the independent investigations by the Orange County district attorney’s office into both accidents will show no wrongdoing by these officers”.