Details Surrounding Anaheim Police Shooting of Second Latino Man Still Murky
Anaheim police shot and killed another man yesterday, marking the weekend’s second police shooting in just two days. Family and friends have identified the man as Joel Acevedo. Details surrounding the Acevedo’s are still murky to say the least, but here is the police version of what took place, from CBS News:
That shooting climaxed an incident that began around 11:20 p.m. Sunday, when anti-gang officers spotted a known gang member on probation in what they soon determined was a stolen SUV, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said. The vehicle’s driver lost control on West Guinida Lane, and two men and a woman exited.
“The officers were in foot pursuit for about a half-block when one male suspect fired at the officers,” Dunn said. “The officers returned fire, striking the suspect, who was dead at the scene.”
A gun was found next to the body, he said. The second male suspect was detained, but the female got away. Dunn said it was not immediately determined if the suspect who fired on officers was the gang member on probation.
However, initial reports by the OC Weekly suggest that police tried to obscure the scene:
No one is being allowed to take photos, according to the source. When a group tried to take photos from an upstairs apartment, police shined a bright light onto the residents to block the view.
Following the death of an unarmed Anaheim man on Saturday, police allegedly resorted to offering to buy cell phone footage from witnesses who recorded the shooting, though Sgt. Dunn told reporters that he’s unsure if buying witness cell phone videos is legal.
The OC Weekly goes on to report the account of residents who were nearby the scene of Acevedo’s shooting:
A female resident who lives in the apartments right above where the shooting took place told OC Weekly she heard five consecutive shots, with no apparent gun exchange. She claimed she heard reports of the gun being planted on Acevedo; the report has not been confirmed.
Another resident who lives a few blocks down said she heard a loud crash then sirens blaring of at least 20 police cars, which she says drowned out the noise of the apparent gunshots.
Unless a full investigation takes place that includes canvassing the neighborhood for witness accounts, the police version of events will likely be reported as fact and Acevedo’s will be portrayed as gangster who got what he had coming.
Still, Acevedo’s death came just one day after Anaheim police shot and killed 24-year-old Manual Diaz, an unarmed Latino man who ran when approached by officers on Saturday afternoon. One witness says that Diaz was shot from behind, first in the buttocks, then the head. She also told reporters that police proceeded to handcuff Diaz before searching him, despite his body lying bloody and motionless on the ground.
Newly obtained cell phone footage, posted by the OC Weekly, shows police standing over Diaz’s bloodied body, which appears to be twitching as if still alive, for over three minutes before doing anything. One man can be heard pleading “He’s still alive man!”
Diaz’s shooting sparked a protest by area residents, some of who allegedly threw bottles and rocks at officers. Police reacted by shooting rubber bullets and pepper-spray and releasing (apparently by accident) a K-9 attack dog into a crowd of mostly parents and small children. The chaos was captured on video by a KCAL news crew where a parents can be seen shielding their children in horror.