California Protesters Crash Police Press Conference on Shooting of Unarmed Man
Angry demonstrators invited themselves to a press conference held by Anaheim police to address their perspective of events Sunday that started with the death of an unarmed man and turned into a violent clash between officers and locals.
Chief John Welter was addressing media at the time of the interruption, saying that two officers were placed on paid leave after one of them shot 24-year-old Manuel Diaz to death.
According to police, Diaz was a known gang member who was with three men in an alleyway that chose to run when the two officers approached. One of them chased Diaz to an apartment complex where the shooting occurred.
Welter would not specify what led to the shooting, saying only that the Orange County district attorney was conducting an independent investigation. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait pledged to ask the state attorney general to assist, saying “Transparency is essential. Whatever the truth is, we will own it.”
While securing the crime scene for investigators, residents from the neighborhood came out and allegedly through rocks and bottles at police. Department spokesman Sgt. Bob Dunn states that after one of the civilians was detained, the crowd began to advance. Officers retaliated by firing bean bags and pepper b***s at them.
What followed was chaos. A KCAL-TV crew shot live footage of unarmed individuals running from the gunfire and shielding themselves and others. At one point, a police dog attacked a stroller and lunged at several people in the area—including a woman and small child—before biting a man in the arm. Dunn said the dog got out of a patrol car accidentally, and that he was unsure whether police told the crowd to disperse before firing.
The crowd that swarmed the lobby of the Anaheim Police Department headquarters where the conference was being held chanted “no justice, no peace,” and “cops, pigs, murderers.”
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