Update: Protesters storm lobby of Anaheim police on Sunday
A near-riot broke out in Anaheim, California on Saturday after a police shooting left one man dead and angry witnesses began throwing bottles at police offers. Police responded by firing bean bags and rubber bullets into a crowd of terrified women and children and even loosed a police dog on one woman and her baby.
Residents, who have recently been complaining about alleged police violence, told KCAL 9 News that Manuel Diaz was running away from police who had attempted to speak with him when he was shot from behind with a bullet that hit him in the buttocks. He fell to his knees and was struck in the head by another bullet. Police handcuffed the motionless man and he was taken to the hospital, where he died three hours later.
However, it was what happened after residents had blocked off a street and set fire to a dumpster that left even the KCAL reporters shocked. Not only did the police fire on women and children, hitting at least one young boy, but a police dog was allowed to attack a mother with her child..
“They just released the dog and I had my baby in the stroller,” the hysterical mother told the news team. “The dog just grabbed me with his teeth.”
According to reporter Jay Jackson, dozens of people were filming the event with their cellphones, and four different people told him “that police officers offered to buy their video from them without any explanation.”
Update: On Sunday afternoon, protesters gathered in the lobby of the Anaheim Police Department chanting “No justice, no peace” and “Justice for Manuel.”
The demonstration came at the same time as a police press conference, during which it was announced that two officers involved in the fatal shooting have been placed on paid leave, pending a full investigation of the incident. Police Chief John Walter also indicated that the dog which rushed into the crowd biting people had accidentally escaped from a police vehicle.
“We are extremely sorry for the people who were bit,” Welter stated. “The city will be responsible for all medical bills associated with the dog. The canine officer responsible for the dog is devastated by this.”
This video is from KCAL 9 News, July 21, 2012.