Federal authorities to review Anaheim police shootings, mayor says
Federal officials have agreed to look into a recent officer-involved shooting in Anaheim after a meeting with the mayor Friday.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI have agreed to conduct an independent review of the July 21 police shooting of Manuel Diaz, a 25-year-old documented gang member. The city will also provide federal authorities with information about other police shootings in Anaheim this year.
So far, there have been six officer-involved shootings, five of them fatal. Police fired their weapons at a suspect again early Friday morning, but did not appear to wound any suspects.
“I ask that our community be patient to allow their process to run its course as we seek to learn what happened on that day as well as previous incidents this year,” said Mayor Tom Tait in a statement.
Tait said the city will work with community groups and neighborhood organizations to repair relationships.
The new investigation comes after a week of protests that began after Diaz’s death Saturday.
The unrest has unlocked simmering tensions within the city, and on Tuesday night crowds in excess of 1,000 people gathered downtown to protest.
After police declared an unlawful assembly, 50 to 100 protesters continued to roam the streets, setting dumpsters on fire, breaking windows and damaging more than 20 businesses.
Police used pepper-spray balls and bean bags to calm the crowd, and 24 people were arrested.
Residents remain on edge, as police were involved in the third-officer involved shooting within a week on Friday morning. Diaz’s family has called for peaceful demonstrations, and more rallies are planned through the weekend.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz