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Anaheim residents urge city to address racial divisions

August 3, 2012 |  6:44 am

No issues were settled Thursday at a special session of the Anaheim City Council, but numerous residents calmly spoke to the council and urged it to address long-simmering complaints in the racially segregated city.

It was the first council meeting since protesters clashed with authorities over two fatal police shootings. After Thursday's public session, the council met behind closed doors for several hours.

A public hearing is also scheduled for Aug. 8 to discuss a proposal to switch the selection of council members from at-large voting to council districts to give Anaheim's majority Latino population a voice.

We need to do something to bring everyone peacefully together," said John Dunton, who said he represented a group of Anaheim business owners. "We can't turn the clock back. But we can move forward."

Other suggestions included better police accountability and more youth programs in underserved neighborhoods.

Some called for a change at the top.

Barbara Kordiak, a longtime protester of alleged police misconduct, said, "We need to clean up the Anaheim Police Department from the top on down."

"We need a police department we can trust and work with," she said. "And that's not what we have now."

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-- Mike Anton in Anaheim

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