Anaheim Police Shoot At Women And Children During Protest of Police Killing
Residents in Anaheim, California who witnessed a police shooting that left a man dead Saturday afternoon were brutally retaliated against following an angry confrontation with the officers involved.
The Orange County Register reports that the man, identified by family as Manuel Diaz, 24, ran when he and two others were approached by three Anaheim police officers around 4:00 pm. One of the officers chased after him, ultimately shooting and killing Diaz. The Register continues:
Crystal Ventura, who told the Register she witnessed the shooting, said she saw the shooting from about 20 feet away. Ventura said a first bullet hit him in the buttocks area, sending him to his knees, and a second bullet hit him in the head, sending him to the ground. Officers then handcuffed him, even though he was not moving.
“They searched his pockets, and there was a hole in his head, and I saw blood on his face,” she said.
Diaz died at the hospital three hours later. The Register adds that police allegedly tried to purchase cell phone footage of the killing captured by witnesses.
Shortly after the shooting, witnesses and nearby residents angrily confronted Anaheim police about what they viewed as an act of outrageous police brutality. Police claim the crowd began pelting them with rocks and bottles, sparking the clash that followed.
Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn pushed the narrative that the ensuing clash was between two equal parties. Dunn maintains the officers responded reasonably by unleashing rubber bullets, pepper-spray and a K-9 attack dog (which police claim was accidently freed from an officer’s car) on the “riotous” crowd. But video footage captured by KCAL-TV shows police shooting, not an angry crowd of violent rioters, but rather at terrified mothers, screaming children and even baby carriages.
The chaotic scene is shocking at every level. Dunn went on to explain that police launched less lethal weapons at the crowed because, according to The Register, they were “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.”
Meanwhile, the shooting victim’s 16-year-old niece, Daisy Gonzalez, believes her uncle ran from police due to negative experiences with law enforcement in the past, telling The Register, “He (doesn’t) like cops. He never liked them because all they do is harass and arrest anyone.” The behavior displayed by Anaheim Police this weekend shows that Diaz wasn’t too far off.
UPDATE: The Huffington Post’s Radley Balko tweeted:
The Reason headline reads, “Anaheim Cops Shoot Rubber Bullets, Unleash Dog on Crowd Protesting Police Shooting.” Very straightforward and accurate. The LA Times Headline,”Angry Anaheim crowd threw bottles at police, set fires on streets,” echoes the police narrative. While this is not sup rising, it’s a perfect example of how the media, particularly large mainstream outlets, trumpet the police version of events, even when video footage so clearly contradicts that account.
While it’s true that bottles were thrown and fires lit, the LA Times suggests that a) these acts were isolated and unprovoked and b) the police were victims or at the very least were matched by an equally powerful opponent.
This type of skewed reporting is part of a larger pattern. Whenever police unleash their power, whether on a group of evicted Occupy protesters or an unarmed person of color in the wrong place at the wrong time, the media almost always errors on the side of authority, painting the resulting injuries and sometimes deaths as justified, or even worse, the fault of the victim(s).