Bay Area activists join in anger over Anaheim police shootings

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Police keep watch on Anaheim protesters from a rooftop Sunday
PHOTO BY @PFAILBLOG

Last weekend in Anaheim, police shot and killed two young men. Every day since, protesters have taken to the streets. This weekend, a national day of protest following the killings helped spread the call for justice in Anaheim spread to the Bay Area. 

Manuel Diaz, 25, was unarmed when he was killed by Anaheim police July 21. When a crowd gathered at the scene as Diaz lay bleeding, police fired rubber bullets and pepper balls into the crowd. One police dog got loose, charged at a baby, and bit the child’s father. Police say they used crowd control because the people had grown rowdy, and that some were throwing rocks. The next day, police shot a 21-year-old, Joel Acevedo, who they say shot at officers while fleeing. 

Anaheim police shot another man the next day, a suspected burglar, marking the eighth officer-involved shooting in Anaheim so far this year. Five of the shootings resulted in death, and all but one of those killed were Latino.

"What's going on here in Orange County is symbolic of a problem with the system," Eduardo Perez, a 21-year-old student who attended Sunday’s protest told the Orange County Register. "This wouldn't happen to white people. This is racism, simple as that." 

Saturday was a designated a national day of action, and protests in New York, Oakland, Seattle, and Chicago took place, while a smaller group marched Friday in San Francisco. 

Tensions boiled over between protesters and Anaheim police Tuesday. Police say that protesters smashed windows and set fires. They shot at a crowd of hundreds with rubber bullets, beanbags and pepper balls, arresting 24 by the end of the night. That was what an Occupy Oakland medic, who preferred to be quoted as Elle, want to head down. 

“I saw an insane amount of force being used to disperse protesters who I think are rightfully angry. I noticed there was nobody there as a medic, reaching out to do first aid,” Elle said. 

On Sunday, protesters rallied at the APD headquarters and attempted a march to Disneyland. Law enforcement officers in camoflauge uniforms, toting tear gas launchers, blocked them the crowd from getting near Disneyland.

“They were stopped by the SWAT team that apparently wears desert camo,” said Elle, noting that Anaheim police and Orange County sheriff’s deputies, many on horseback, also confronted the march. 

Although Elle says that she did observe mounted police “using their horses almost as batons to shove and hit protesters onto the street,” she only treated minor injuries as a medic. 

”The unfortunate thing about being a medic is that these people who are being arrested need your help the most,” she said.

“The arrests they made were pretty violent, the ones that I saw. They hit one guy over the head with their baton as they were taking them to the van. They carried another woman out from a back alley, and she was crying and terrified. They were pretty brutal to the people they were arresting.”

Elle says she wanted to go help in Anaheim in part to help build a unified movement.

“We’re building a movement in Oakland around a really similar situation,” she said.

“If our state, community, country is going to make these murders stop all these communities need to rise up together and say this is unacceptable, we need to stop. It’s going to take a lot of people getting out there into the streets and building constant popular support to say this is an unacceptable use of our tax dollars.”

That “constant popular support” has been mounting in the Bay Area so far in 2012. Occupy Oakland started off the year with a march to the Oakland City Jail, and, the next day, joined with the Oscar Grant Committee for a march and rally commemorating his death. As officer-involved shootings have continued throughout the year, family and supporters have continued to take to the streets in response. 

“I also wanted to help build a bridge between Oakland and Anaheim,” Elle says of her trip. 

“If every community is issuing statements saying we want police to be held accountable for these deaths, we want to revoke the police officers’ bill of rights, we want active legislation preventing stop and frisk, active legislation to protect people’s fourth amendment rights, I think it could accomplish something,” Elle said.

Comments

use some level of force to contain the situation.

I'm not aware that the cops have ever shot someone for just walking quietly and peacefully along the street.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 9:16 am

How long have you been on the internet? Have you heard anything about "The Civil Rights Era"? Cops shoot, kill, beat, and sometimes even rape innocent people all the time, with particular disregard towards non-white people. Rarely do they ever actually serve time in prison.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

at other sources.

One of the fellows killed was shooting at the cops, two others were burglars who were shot at, one escaped, the other nabbed by a police dog.

If the police stories hold up... It really has nothing to do with civil rights. You don't have a civil right to shoot at people with impunity.

How long have you been on the internet? Ever heard of crime?

Posted by matlock on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

Gang members shoot, kill, beat, rob, and rape people all the time, with no regard for innocent people. But it's the lack of jobs that cause them to do that, right?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

I live in Oakland, am a middle aged white female with a professional career (therefore not a typical target of police brutality/excessive force) and yet I am afraid to exercise my right to PEACEFULLY protest because OPD does not do proper crowd control, therefore any sizeable gathering usually ends in A) riots and property destruction B) bodily injuries. I was afraid to go see Obama when he recently visited because I was afraid OPD would botch the crowd control. In short, due to having lived here (peacefully) for nearly 20 years, I am as afraid of the Oakland Police Dept as I am afraid of criminals. OPD has a long history of not handling simple crowd control. I repeat, PEACEFULLY EXERCISING YOUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH IN OAKLAND HAS PROVEN TO PUT YOU AT RISK FOR BODILY HARM. This situation is bad for everyone; bad for the businesses that get trashed over and over by protestors who do not respect the property owners, bad for the protestors who get injured, bad for everyone in the city who has to bear the cost and live with shameful image of an otherwise wonderful city.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

And if you live in Oakland, I would be much more worried about all the thugs there than the thin blue line that protecxts you from them.

Moreover, you appear to admit you're a troublemaker.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

First, I believe in peaceful protest, however, most good people would have no desire to protest the police attempting to protect the innocent public from known gang members. Most gang members are certainly up to no good and if you are a professional career person than likely gang members will or have shopped at your home or from your car... These shooting illicit no sympathy from the majority who can see the whole picture. Second if you feel the need to protest make sure you at least aren't standing near those who are only there to riot or go home when the riots start. Once rocks, cones, store front windows (most of the stores damaged where owned by Latinos...) start being broke, and police vehicles are being kicked, go home. Because this is no longer a peaceful protest. No. It has become a riot. It is the exact opposite action that will ever illicit sympathy. The gangs of Anaheim are not held dear in anyone else's heart besides possibly their mothers.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 9:35 am

Because the police are assholes in Anaheim. These kinds of "sympathy" actions engender a lot more resentment and anger than support.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 10:30 am

the only problem i have with Police shooting gang members is when they miss...
It's funny to see the sleezy latinos of anaheim now rioting for their la rasa gang banger scumbags. Show the level of intelligence and civilization. No brain function people not knowing what they are doing. Just send them home, or in jail.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

Do a little digging and you will find out how bad Anaheim's gang problem has become. The PD is not the problem. They are just taking out the trash.

And what kind of parent has their kid outside in a stroller after a shooting? Seriously, they should have their kid taken away for endangering it like that.

Back the Badge. F-occupy.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

Do a little digging and you'll find the bodies of Orange County cops' murder victims. Hide behind the badge is more accurate.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

The parents was with their kids on the protest, eventually the
The APD shot first and the police dog was out of control. Its not like they brought their kid towards the shooting.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 2:31 am

Actually the parents were already there with their kids at the protest. Sooner or later the police started to fire first then the dogs came loose out of control.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 2:39 am

were already there with their kids at the protest. Sooner or later the police started to fire first then the dogs came loose out of control.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 2:40 am

The Orange County version of "law enforcement" is known for deadly tactics which include the pending charges against two cops accused of murdering Kelly Thomas. Watch the video; there are several versions.The official reports on these fatalities are ridiculously flawed, and the DA refuses to investigate, let alone indict unless the video is so egregious there is no choice.

These two latest examples are typical of OC cops dealing with unarmed suspects, sometimes already handcuffed, Try reading R Scott Moxley's column in the OC Weekly and you;ll find dozens of examples that apparently don't get too far out of Orange County. You haven't seen cop violence until you've been to Orange County. Get an education before pissing all over this space with sympathy for the cops.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

The guys that get shot are always bad guys. Funny that. If cops were randomly violent, then they'd be shooting white grandmothers. Yet they don't.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

Racist

Posted by Guest on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 3:15 am

The cops don't pick on blacks. They pick on criminals they catch who just happen to be more likely to be black.

Did you know that there are 40 black-on-white crimes for every white-on-black crime?

Coincidence?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 4:28 am

Liberals are obsessed with the "rights" of thugs and criminals. Next time, I hope the Anaheim PD uses hollow points.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 9:02 am

Racial profiling is standard protocol by the police forces of our country as the Government and Private Companies make millions of dollars off of locking up minorities. Read about the Privatized Police State we live in and my visual response to the Boys in Blue (bought and paid for by Wall Street) on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-privatized-police-state.html The young men who are lucky enough to keep their lives end up behind bars working for “sweat shop” wages.

Posted by Brandt Hardin on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 10:35 am

Ain't America grand! You can whine about capitalism while using capitalism and making capital... e.g., Michael Moore. (And yes, unfortunately, ain't is now a word...)

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 9:45 am

isn't a word, Art-boy. Maybe Wall Street could buy you a dictionary too.

Posted by Chromefields on Aug. 01, 2012 @ 10:48 am

Last time I was in Disneyland, June 2012, there were several problems with groups of Latinos. I can't say gang members because I likely wouldn't know one if I saw them, but I will say, groups of teens- to sadly 30 somethings, Latinos, both male and females, traveling in groups, forcing families to move aside, deliberately shouldering people, and during the evening flag ceremony playing the Mexican National Anthem on their cell phone on speakers (ineffective but not cute either).

Heaviest on my mind was that likely at least one of these thugs family members likely works in Disneyland or the surrounding hotels, etc., and should tourists feel unsafe to travel their any longer where will the working members of their families find employment? They may not be glamorous jobs, but neither is mine, my husbands, or my dual BA'd son's. Yet, we spend more than 10k of our hard earned money down there every year. And we tip well appreciating all service we receive.

Everyday I'm more aware of how little people understand how to get what they want.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:07 am

Last time I was in Disneyland, June 2012, there were several problems with groups of Latinos. I can't say gang members because I likely wouldn't know one if I saw them, but I will say, groups of teens- to sadly 30 somethings, Latinos, both male and females, traveling in groups, forcing families to move aside, deliberately shouldering people, and during the evening flag ceremony playing the Mexican National Anthem on their cell phone on speakers (ineffective but not cute either).

Heaviest on my mind was that likely at least one of these thugs family members likely works in Disneyland or the surrounding hotels, etc., and should tourists feel unsafe to travel their any longer where will the working members of their families find employment? They may not be glamorous jobs, but neither is mine, my husbands, or my dual BA'd son's. Yet, we spend more than 10k of our hard earned money down there every year. And we tip well appreciating all service we receive.

Everyday I'm more aware of how little people understand how to get what they want.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2012 @ 10:12 am

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