Jul 29, 2012
Nine days ago, Anaheim police were surrounded and attacked by screaming, violent mobs hurling bottles and rocks at cops as a police dog attacked people in the crowd.
As the vengeful mob grew angrier, louder and more violent, police officers fired back with rubber bullets and pepper spray rounds.
Anaheim Police Department Sergeant Bob Dunn said the violence ignited after two patrol officers tried to approach three men on Saturday afternoon. The trio fled and a police chase ensued.
One of the Anaheim PD officers followed Manuel Diaz, 25, on foot to the front of an apartment complex in the 700 block of North Anna Drive, where an officer-involved shooting occurred as residents and their kids watched in horror.
The unarmed man was shot by police, falling into a pool of his own blood and jerking violently to his death in front of screaming child witnesses to the gore.
Shocked parents snapped in defense and pursued the officers.
Crystal Ventura, a kid who lives in the neighborhood, witnessed the shooting from 20 feet away. She said Manuel Diaz had his back to police when he was shot in the butt before being struck by a second bullet through the brain.
Another officer handcuffed Diaz and searched his pockets as he gasped for life in vain.
"They searched his pockets, and there was a hole in his head, and I saw blood on his face!" said young Crystal.
A group of yelling residents encircled the police officers and attacked them. More Anaheim residents ran to join the attack on police officers, turning the situation into a riot.
Police shot back at the crowd of women, children and infants, wrestled citizens to the ground, and chased down residents at gunpoint in the confusion and utter chaos (video below).
"My family was eating dinner when we heard men yelling, the gunshots and kids screaming. I grabbed my gun out of my bedroom," said resident Phil Torres. "I ran to the front door and saw people running in the streets and I told my family to lock themselves in the master bedroom and get down on the floor."
"I called my neighbors and told them, 'Get your guns 'cause this is it. It's going down'," added Torres.
After the riot was stopped by the use of force, police were called back with the fire department to the area after dark.
Another mob had blocked the intersection of North Anna Drive and La Palma Avenue by setting fires.
After a day and night of violence, sleepless citizens of Anaheim demanded answers from Anaheim Police Chief John Welter about the shooting, riots, and violence against women and children by cops.
"We were all waiting for him to come and talk to the community and give us an explanation," said angry resident Yesenia Rojas. "Why kill this man?"
Two police officers have been placed on paid leave because of the shooting of the unarmed man, Manuel Diaz.
Diaz was shot after the officers saw him leaning against a vehicle talking to two men, which they deemed suspicious. When the officers approached the car, it took off with two men inside, leaving Diaz alone to flee to his death.
The deceased man's sister, Lupe Diaz is furious. She insists that her brother was "just hanging out with friends" before he was killed by a police officer.
"There is no explanation!" said Miss Diaz. "It's not fair!"
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait is formally requested assistance from California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the investigation.
"I'm asking for a full investigation," Tait said at a Sunday news conference. "Transparency is essential. Whatever the truth is, we will own it."
Last weekend, protestors stormed the Anaheim Police Department headquarters lobby Sunday to protest the shooting of Manuel Diaz, chanting "Cops! Pigs! Murderers!, Cops! Pigs! Murderers!" in front of a line of police officers.
"They are not judge, jury and executioner!" exclaimed community organizer Theresa Smith. "Everything has gotten out of hand."
As irate citizens across Anaheim banded together, compared notes and shared cell phone videos, city leaders desperately appealed for calm in the wake of the violence.
Demonstrators disrupted a city council meeting last Tuesday near Disneyland and blocked a major intersection with fires and refused to move until arrested.
Over the last 9 days, protests have popped up all over Anaheim because of a second fatal officer-involved shooting in the city on top of the Diaz shooting.
Today, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Anaheim, with more arrests made, adding to a rising total of arrests over 9 long days and nights of angry protests by citizens of Anaheim.
Insisting that violent protests "will not be tolerated," Anaheim Mayor Tom Wait asked the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles to investigate both police shootings.
In what appears to be something from a third-world dictatorship, the following news video graphically shows the original violent and shocking confrontation between armed cops and Mexican Americans that started it all.
CHAOS IN ANAHEIM