Protesters converge on Anaheim City Hall over police shootings
Protesters stormed up Anaheim City Hall steps Tuesday and surrounded the council chambers to speak out about recent accusations of police brutality, the fourth day of demonstrations since a 25-year-old man was shot and killed by an officer.
More than 100 people came to protest, clutching signs that read, "Jail killer cops," and "No justice, no peace."
About 4:30 p.m., a large group arrived chanting for justice in Spanish. "What do we want? Justice!" the group yelled. "When do we want it? Now!"
Jose Gonzalez, 25, is a friend of Joel Mathew Acevedo, who was shot and killed after he fired at an officer Sunday night. A day earlier, Manuel Angel Diaz was killed after running from police on Anaheim's east side.
"Two Latinos died in two days," Gonzalez said. "It's just a bad situation."
Gonzalez said that he believes there are racist undertones to the shootings. "We all feel like targets," he said. The lifelong Anaheim resident said he was worried about the city's future: "I want to raise my kids here, but the way things are looking I'm scared."
The protests delayed the City Council meeting by a few minutes and prompted police in riot gear to surround the chamber's entrance.
Before the meeting began, Mayor Tom Tait told audience members the meeting would stop if speakers were interrupted.
Outside, people continued to wave signs. Some said they demonstrated because the recent shootings have opened old wounds. Esther Cruz's brother, Ceasar Cruz, was involved in an officer-involved shooting on Dec. 11, 2009. She said she believes that police racially profile residents based on attributes such as skin color and tattoos.
"People shouldn't be judged by how they look," said Cruz, 37, of Anaheim.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Anaheim
Photo: Protesters gather outside Anaheim City Hall to protest police shootings on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles Times