Officials in the city of Anaheim voted on Tuesday to request an official investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office over recent police shootings. That includes one that took place last weekend where an unarmed man was shot by police. That shooting sparked protests that have lasted for four days and a clash between police officers and residents.
Patrols by police were stepped up and many were donned in riot gears, as hundreds of people took to the streets in protest in front of City Hall. Many people packed the chamber of the city council inside City Hall to talk about the shootings that have created anger throughout the city. Out in the street, protesters threw bottles and rocks at officers and ignored police warnings to disperse. That in turn forced officers to assemble skirmish lines and shot pepper balls into the crowd.
Two people were taken into custody by police and at one point, a gas station was shut down by police when protesters were pumping gas into cans.
The Manuel Diaz killing and another killing of a man on Sunday took the number of police shootings to six in the California city thus far in 2012. Only four took place in all of 2011. Five of the six shootings this year have resulted in fatalities.
Diaz’s family on Tuesday filed a civil rights suit that was seeking over $50 million from the city and the police department, in damages. The suit claims Diaz was shot while he was trying to run away.
Tom Tait, Anaheim’s Mayor said it was very settling to read in court papers that were given to him that Diaz had been shot in both the leg and the back of the head.
The police union for Anaheim police officers defended the officers who were involved and said the men who had been killed were members of gangs with criminal records.