Anaheim police shooting protest turns violent

Protesters, upset over the shooting death of an apparently unarmed man last weekend, caused damage to local businesses in the southern California city after police move in.

Alex Gallardo/REUTERS
A protester is arrested by police officers from Orange County as protesters try to occupy the the intersection of Anaheim Blvd. and Broadway to demonstrate against recent police shooting in Anaheim, California July 24.

Protesters broke windows of least a half-dozen storefronts in Anaheim on Tuesday and five people were arrested in the second major clash between police and demonstrators since an officer shot dead an apparently unarmed man.

Tom Tait, mayor of the southern California city, had called on Monday for a state and federal review of the shooting of the man, a suspected gang member.

Over 600 demonstrators gathered at City Hall on Tuesday, where officials were holding a regular meeting, police said.

Some threw patio chairs through the windows of a Starbucks, according to a Reuters witness. No one in the restaurant was injured, said Anaheim police spokesman Sergeant Bob Dunn.

In the same block-long strip mall, at least five other businesses also had windows smashed, according to a Reuters witness. Afterward, officers toting shotguns stood guard in front of the storefronts.

Five people were arrested in the protest and ensuing melee, and one person was injured and taken to hospital, Dunn said. Dozens of officers wielding night sticks faced off against the demonstrators, who at one point threw water bottles and rocks toward the line.

The tensions flared after police shot and killed a man on Saturday afternoon.

Two officers had tried to approach three men in an alley, who fled, Dunn said earlier this week. The officers followed on foot and one caught up to one suspect, police said.

The officer shot the man, who police said they later identified as Manuel Diaz, a known gang member. Diaz was not found to have been carrying a gun, police said.

Police fired pepper pellets at angry residents near the scene of the shooting on Saturday.

Late on Sunday Anaheim officers tried to stop a car and killed a man who police said fled and opened fire on them during a foot chase.

He was the fifth person to die in an officer-involved shooting in Anaheim this year.

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