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Family Of Man Killed By Anaheim Police Seeks More Info On Officer

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Manuel Diaz, 25, was fatally shot by Anaheim police on July 21 as he fled from officers. (CBS)

Manuel Diaz, 25, was fatally shot by Anaheim police on July 21 as he fled from officers. (CBS)

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ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — The family of an Anaheim man killed by police in one of the shootings that sparked weeks of protest last summer will ask a judge Monday to recover more information from city officials.

Dana Douglas, an attorney representing the family of 25-year-old Manuel Diaz, has unsuccessfully tried to acquire key documents as part of a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit.

Diaz was fatally shot on July 21 as he fled from officers in the first of two shootings that sparked protests citywide.

City officials have so far resisted providing evidence out of concern that it would jeopardize the review by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office of the shooting to determine if criminal charges should be filed.

Douglas told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that she believes the evidence would clearly document a pattern of behavior by the Anaheim Police Department.

“One of the things, for instance, that they have been attempting to keep from us is documents regarding another shooting that the same officer, Nick Bennallack, shot and killed another innocent Anaheim citizen just months before he shot and killed Mr. Diaz, and then he was placed apparently back on the streets without any additional training regarding use of force,” said Douglas.

That second shooting occurred on July 22 after anti-gang officers spotted a known gang member on probation in what they soon determined was a stolen car along the 400 block of West Guinida. The pursuit ended with officers fatally shooting the suspect Lane.

Douglas said she expects a favorable ruling in court on Monday.

“There’s a big public interest and private interest in providing full discovery to the plaintiffs, and we believe that the judge will find in our favor,” she said.

The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

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