Anaheim unrest: 24 arrested, 6 injured in night of violence
July 25, 2012 | 6:01
At least 24 people were arrested and six injured in violent clashes Tuesday night between Anaheim protesters and police during demonstrations sparked by a series of officer-involved shootings.
Three protesters, two reporters and one police officer suffered injuries during the fourth day of protests, officials said. A breakdown of arrests and a tally of property damage from the clash were not immediately available, they said.
"I think that given the totality of the circumstances, actually things turned out very good," said Sgt. Robert Dunn, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department.
During the confrontation, people grabbed rocks from a construction site at Santa Ana Street and Anaheim Boulevard and hurled them at officers. Others lighted a fire in the weeds and in trash bins in the area as they were chased by police.
Mohammed Qasem, a 24-year-old Anaheim resident and his friend watched as police formed a line off Anaheim Boulevard around 10:30 p.m. in an effort to quell the conflict. Qasem said he hoped that the protests sent a message that citizens are outraged about recent police conduct.
"It's not cool how they killed the guy," he said, referring to Manuel Angel Diaz, who was shot and killed Saturday night, sparking the first round of protests. "That guy was somebody's son."
So far this year, five people have been shot to death by police in the city. The slayings have sparked outrage about police behavior in Anaheim's Latino neighborhoods.
David Zavala, 25, walked down Anaheim Boulevard on Tuesday evening, moments after police had shot several rounds of non-lethal projectiles at protesters. Zavala said he was on his way to light a candle for his sister's boyfriend, Joel Mathew Acevedo, who was shot after firing at authorities on Sunday evening.
"Anaheim Police Department is just way out of control," he said. "The cops are supposed to be there to protect and serve."
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter decried the violence.
"I respect the people's right to demonstrate, but I wish that they weren't demonstrating in a violent manner," Welter said.
Anaheim police will be prepared for another night of protests, but "whether that materializes is yet to be seen," Dunn said.