ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of demonstrators turned out Sunday to protest police brutality in Anaheim.
The demonstration was held to coincide with the one year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Manuel Diaz.
His shooting, at the hands of Anaheim police, touched off several days of violent civil unrest.
Demonstrators said today that change and justice is not coming swiftly enough. They started their demonstration at Anaheim City Hall and they marched to the Anaheim Police department.
CBS2’s Art Barron reported the 300 people chanted, held signs and spoke of a need for police not to racially profile citizens.
The crowd included 30 women who lost loved ones during officer-involved shootings.
“It is empowering knowing that we want justice. That’s where the power comes from,” said Genevieve Huizer, Manuel Diaz’ mother.
Huizer also had the shooting death of Trayvon Martin on her mind. “[George] Zimmerman was not a police officer. The man that killed my son, swore to protect and serve, so there is a big difference there.”
Anaheim Police Dept. Sgt. Bob Dunn said the officer involved in shooting Diaz was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“We are listening. In the events of last year, if anything that we learned was that we need to listen and actively listen,” said Dunn.
“There is an inextricable link between the death of Trayvon Martin and the daily killing of people by law enforcement. That is racial profiling,” said Michael Prysner, of Answer LA, the group that organized the demonstration.
Jeralynn Blueford, a woman from Northern California who also lost a son to a police shooting, came to show her support. Alan Blueford, then 18, was shot in 2012 by an Oakland police officer who said Blueford pointed a gun at him. The officer, Miguel Masso, was cleared in an 18-page report.
His mother disagrees. “He was judged by the color of his skin and murdered for being a black man. All cops are not bad. But there’s enough bad cops doing bad things that are terrorizing our communities,” said Blueford.
Many of the demonstrators told Barron they are not anti-police but want racial profiling to stop.