ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — More than 200 people protested against recent officer-involved shootings in Anaheim Sunday and at times protesters threatened to take their demonstration to Disneyland.
The protest began around noon outside Anaheim police headquarters. Bobby Kaple, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, said police were ready for the crowds — “they are in battle gear.”
Daylong protests ended with nine arrests. Police said the demonstrations were peaceful.
This was in marked contrast to protests last weekend and Tuesday when tensions were very high and dozens were arrested. Police shot crowds with bean bags and rubber bullets last Saturday. They accidentally released a police dog on one man.
Sunday, Kaple reported from about a block away from the location where 24-year-old Manuel Diaz was shot and killed running from police last weekend.
The fatal shooting touched off days of violence. Some protesters lit garbage bins on fire and placed them in the middle of busy streets.
Today, all was calm.
But protester Anne Barron explained why she has been out in force for several days. “There have just been too many killings … too many killings.”
The police presence was heavy. Many were on horseback and there were tactical units on several key rooftops keeping an eye on things.
On the sidewalk outside the Anaheim Police Station, there were angry chalk messages left by demonstrators. They also left a chalk outline of a body, with Diaz’s name in the middle.
Said Barron, “It’s not just Anaheim. It’s all over the country where you see cops becoming vigilantes … instead of using due process. And the last man shot in the back of the head? Unacceptable.”
Protester Iris Thomas seeks action. “Something needs to happen. Take the police off the horses and out of the cars and put them back on the street where they belong, getting to know their community.”
Last Tuesday, more than 20 businesses were damaged when protest turned to riot. Windows were broken at police headquarters and City Hall and scores of protesters threw rocks and bottles at police cruisers.
Police were not going to accept a repeat of the riot Tuesday. Said Sgt. Bob Dunn of the Anaheim police department, “The goal here is to facilitate a peaceful protest and allow people to express their First Amendment rights and to help facilitate that in a safe way. We also want to make sure we don’t let the crowd get violent.”
A planned vigil in memory of Manuel Diaz was also planned for early evening.