Riots Break Out in Anaheim CA After Manuel Diaz Killed in Police-Involved Shooting

NEWSFLASH (07/24/12):  OC Register – Authorities identified a man fatally shot on Sunday as Joel Mathew Acevedo, 21, and described him as a known gang member, as new clashes reported with protesters blocking lanes.

Citizens protesting the police-involved shooting death of Manuel Diaz sparked riots in Anaheim, Calif. Manuel Diaz was killed Saturday evening after he was chased down an alley and shot by police officers.

About 4 p.m. Saturday, two patrol officers driving down an alley in the 600 block of North Anna Drive saw three men standing near a vehicle. The three men ran away when the officers approached, said Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn.

“At that time the officer-involved shooting occurred,” he said. Dunn would not give any other details about what happened and why the officer shot the man, stating that the details are under investigation.

The man was in critical condition when he was taken to the hospital, Dunn said, and died at 7 p.m. The two other men got away, he added. Dunn said gang detectives are involved in the investigation. Source: Orange County Register

Witnesses state that Diaz had been hit by one shot and was face down on the ground, though police have not indicated whether he was armed or wanted for any reason other than standing by a truck with two other individuals. The police returned to the scene five hours after the shooting when the crowds would not disperse and tensions hit a boiling point, firing rubber bullets pepper balls into the crowd of men, women, children and babies in strollers, KTLA reports.

I would urge calm. There is no need to solve problems by rioting. The people who are rioting are hurting themselves in the long run. If the officers shot an innocent man, then the truth will come to light. Take the case of Kathryn Johnston, the elderly Atlanta woman was who was killed in a “no-knock” warrant, for example. The officers involved initially lied, saying they found drugs in this woman’s home. An investigation found otherwise and three officers — Arthur Tesler, Jason R. Smith and Gregg Junnier –are behind bars for her death. Calmer heads need to prevail and people should stop jumping to conclusions.

UPDATE#1:  The police chief said two officers have been placed on administrative leave.