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Anaheim mayor urges protesters to be 'respectful'

July 25, 2012 |  8:08 am

Anaheim officials were picking up the pieces Wednesday after a night of violent demonstrations triggered by recent officer-involved shootings.

At least 24 people -- 20 adults and four juveniles -- were arrested Tuesday night and six people -- three protesters, two journalists and one officer -- were injured, officials said.

"To the people in the city that are troubled about what happened, I'd like to tell you that I am committed to keeping the lines of communication open and to keeping the process completely transparent," said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. "We all must be respectful of one another. We all must be kind."

PHOTOS: Protests against Anaheim police shootings

Sgt. Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department said investigators will be reviewing video of Tuesday night's incidents with an eye to making further arrests.

Parts of the city saw escalating violence Tuesday night in comparison to protests from the previous three nights, officials said. The demonstrations began peacefully outside the City Council meeting, but soon spread to parts of downtown Anaheim, where some set fire to trash cans and weeds and threw rocks at police.

In response, police gave an order to disperse. Officers were seen firing bean bags and pushing people out of the streets.

"I respect the people's right to demonstrate, but I wish that they weren't demonstrating in a violent manner," Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

The City Council unanimously voted to ask the U.S. attorney's office to investigate the fatal shootings of Manuel Angel Diaz and Joel Mathew Acevedo, both of which had occurred over the weekend.

Later in the night, the Anaheim Police Department put out a countywide call for help dealing with routine emergency calls, while the city's police dealt with the protest.

A news conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Anaheim Police Department to address the rash of protests.


Anaheim mob damages businesses, sets fires after police shootings

Scattered crowds roam Anaheim streets to protest officer shootings

Anaheim protesters throw rocks, bottles, set fires in clashes with police

-- Christine Mai-Duc in Anaheim and Melissa Leu in Los Angeles