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Anaheim police shooting stirs protests for a 2nd night

Posted: July 23, 2012 8:00 a.m.
Updated: July 23, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Activist Marlena Carrillo shouts at police inside the Anaheim Police Department Sunday July 22, 2012 where a press conference took place in response to the officer involved killing of Manuel Diaz on Saturday.

 

ANAHEIM  (AP) — An officer-involved shooting in this Orange County city that left an unarmed man dead and led to a violent clash between witnesses and police has stirred anger for a second night.

Protesters gathered near the shooting scene Sunday night and expressed their outrage by setting fire to a Dumpster and moving it into the street numerous times as police monitored the scene from a helicopter.

The tense scene followed a day of protest where a crowd stormed the Anaheim Police headquarters' lobby as the police chief prepared to hold a news conference to discuss the case.

The protesters chanted "no justice, no peace" and "cops, pigs, murderers" as officers stood by and watched.

Police Chief John Welter said two officers were placed on paid leave after one of them fatally shot 24-year-old Manuel Diaz Saturday afternoon.

He said the officers approached three men who were acting suspiciously in an alleyway when they ran away. One of the officers chased Diaz to the front of an apartment complex where the shooting occurred.

Welter would not say what led the officer to shoot Diaz, citing an independent investigation by the county's district attorney office. Police said Diaz was a known gang member.

The shooting sparked a melee in the neighborhood as some threw rocks and bottles at officers who were securing the scene for investigators to collect evidence. Sgt. Bob Dunn, the department's spokesman, said that as officers detained an instigator, the crowd advanced on officers so they fired bean bags and pepper balls at them.

Video captured by a KCAL-TV crew showed a chaotic scene as some people ducked to the ground and others scattered screaming. A man is seen yelling at an officer even as a weapon is pointed at him; two adults huddled to shield a boy and girl. Meanwhile, a police dog charged at several people sitting on the grass, including a woman and a child in a stroller, before biting a man in the arm.

Dunn said the dog accidentally got out of a patrol car. He said he didn't know whether police warned the crowd to disperse before firing the rubber bullets and pepper balls.

Throughout the night, police in multiple marked and unmarked squad cars attempted to control an unruly crowd gathered near the shooting scene, where some moved a Dumpster into an intersection and set its trash on fire.

Dunn said five people, two of them juveniles, were arrested during the unrest.

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