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Anaheim police protest: Crowd, police stand off during march

July 29, 2012 |  3:36 pm

Tensions rose in Anaheim on Sunday afternoon as protesters marched down city streets in response to two fatal police shootings last weekend.

After gathering in front of police headquarters about noon, a crowd of more than 100 people began marching down South Harbor Boulevard, blocking traffic as they turned onto Ball Road. Initially trailed by a handful of officers on horseback and in patrol cars, the crowd was later corralled by officers who tried to keep protesters on the sidewalk.

The march came to a standstill at Lemon Street, where more than 100 officers from various law enforcement agencies — including Santa Ana, Buena Park and Dana Point police — blocked Ball Road from traffic and the remaining 50 or so protesters. At one point, a police horse reared onto the sidewalk and veered toward the crowd, sparking shouts from protesters.

PHOTOS: Protests against Anaheim police shootings

An officer told the group via megaphone it was violating the California vehicle code by being in the street, prompting some protesters to turn back toward Harbor Boulevard. Shortly after 3 p.m., most of the police had left Ball Street, drawing applause from protesters.

As the crowd moved back down Harbor Boulevard toward the police station, it was followed by trucks and SUVs carrying police in riot gear.

Sunday was the latest in a series of demonstrations staged in Orange County's largest city in the wake of two fatal police shootings.

The crowd drew honks of support from cars driving by as a dozen police officers on horseback looked on.

Manuel Diaz, 25, was shot and killed by police on July 21. Authorities said the unarmed man was avoiding arrest.

The fatal officer-involved shooting was the first of two that occurred that weekend. The day after Diaz was killed, Anaheim police fatally shot Joel Acevedo, 21, who authorities say had fired on officers during a foot chase.

A third officer-involved shooting, this one on Friday in which police opened fire on a burglary suspect, who was unhurt, marked the city's seventh such shooting this year, five of which have been fatal. The city had four officer-involved shootings in all of 2011.


Anaheim protesters gather in front of police station

Anaheim protest: Crowd chants 'Am I next?' outside police station

Anaheim protest: Mother of '09 shooting victim calls for peaceful rally

— Matt Stevens and Rick Rojas in Anaheim and Kate Mather in Los Angeles

Photo: An Anaheim police officer on horseback tells protesters to stay on the sidewalk during a protest Sunday afternoon. Photo: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times