Anaheim police and protesters continue to clash as fires burn
July 24, 2012 | 10:28pm
Protesters and police in Anaheim continued to clash late Tuesday night after officers declared an unlawful assembly and fired less-than-lethal projectiles at angry crowds near City Hall.
At Santa Ana Street and Anaheim Boulevard, people grabbed rocks from a construction site 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.
Other officers farther south on Santa Ana street fired bean bags at protesters on the fourth day of protests following the deadly police shooting of two men over the weekend.
The slayings have sparked outrage about police behavior in Anaheim's Latino neighborhoods. So far this year, five people have been shot to death by police in the city.
Officers and protesters were clashing after people stormed a City Council meeting Tuesday evening. City officials were discussing the shootings, and the council voted to ask the U.S. attorney's office to investigate.
Anaheim police Sgt. Robert Dunn said that at least five people had been arrested. He said the city did request countywide mutual aid and a tactical alert. “An order to disperse has been given," Dunn said. The sergeant said officers and an Orange County Register reporter were hit by rocks.
Marco Chavez, 17, said he was almost hit with a bean bag pellet Tuesday night. He picked up the pellets "for souvenirs."
Chavez, an Anaheim resident, said he came out because he believes the police have been "unfair."
"They are illegally gang-banging on civilians," he said.
George Alvarado, 29, said he came out to support the cause and was shot in the head. He said he didn't realized it until a friend pointed out the blood. "Yeah, it was the heat of the moment," he said of the wound.
He said of Anaheim police: "What they are doing is wrong."
As officers faced off with people at Santa Ana Street and Anaheim Boulevard, a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train crossed the intersection. On the side of the train was a sign read "The Greatest Show on Earth."
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.