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Anaheim officers involved in fatal shootings back on the job

September 6, 2012 | 11:32 am

Protests erupted after fatal police shootings in Anaheim; the officers involved are back on the job
The Anaheim police officers who killed two men in back-to-back shootings in July have returned to their jobs and are no longer on paid administrative leave, a police spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn said he did not know exactly when the two officers returned but said it had been "a couple of weeks." He declined to provide their names but described both as veteran police officers.

One of the officers shot Manuel Diaz, 25, on July 21, Dunn said. The other shot Joel Acevedo, 21, the next day. The shootings lead to days of streets protests and violence in Orange County's largest city.

PHOTOS: Anaheim police shooting protests

The police union has alleged that Diaz, who was being chased by police, was shot after he reached into his waistband. Protesters gathered at the scene in front of an East Anaheim apartment and began hurling bottles at police, who fired bean bags at the crowd. A police dog broke free and attacked protesters.

A day later, Acevedo was killed. Police said he had fired at officers during a foot chase, and later released a photo of a handgun lying between his legs.

An investigation into both incidents is ongoing, Dunn said.

The shootings rocked the city, igniting long-simmering tensions between police and Anaheim's Latino community, which makes up about 52% of the city of 336,000. 

Activists also took their fight to City Hall, saying the municipal election system in place discriminates against Latinos. In a divided decision, City Council members rejected a proposed ballot measure that would have created voting districts to increase Latino representation.


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— Kate Mather

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Photo: Back-to-back officer-involved shootings sparked a series of protests in Anaheim, including a July 24 demonstration outside City Hall. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles Times