[UPDATED: DA Seeks Photos From Witnesses] Anaheim Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Crowd After Officer-Involved Shooting



The weekly protests outside of the department usually only sees a few families affected by officer-involved shootings demonstrating. In a scene reminiscent of the Kelly Thomas protests last year, local Occupy Orange County and Justice for Kelly Thomas activists joined in on the protest as well as groups from Los Angeles, including Occupy LA, ANSWER LA (Act Now to Stop War and Racism Los Angeles) and Struggles United. Demonstrators also chalked protest messages outside of the police department. 

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Protesters outside of the Anaheim Police Department

Yesenia Rojas, who was shot by officers with a beanbag gun and frequently showed the bloody bruise that proved it, led the crowd into the headquarters as she chanted "No justice, no peace!" Five police officers blocked the entrance to the back offices as protesters angrily chanted "Police say get back, we say fight back!" and "Justice for Manuel, jail killer cops!" 

Rojas can be seen in a CBS video running towards her son, 19-year-old Junior Lagunas, as he was mauled by a K-9 attack dog that got loose. As she was running to help her son, she was shot by police on her lower stomach. Lagunas was also present at the protest, with a cast on his left arm. 

Anaheim City Councilmember Lorri Galloway apologized to a group of demonstrators for not publicly stating what the City Council plans to do about the increase in officer-involved shootings. 

"I apologize for myself, I have not come forward enough," she said. 

In March, over 100 Ponderosa residents lashed out at police at a community meeting over officer-involved shootings and police harrassment with Galloway, Councilmember Kris Murray and Mayor Tom Tait in attendance.

After the community meeting, Galloway claims private meetings were held and there was an agreement to aggressively seek independent investigations. Three months later, City Manager Bob Wingenroth recommended the City Council get an independent investigator to look into major police incidents. 

She said Tait is calling on the California Attorney General to investigate local officer-involved shootings. When asked about a civilian oversight committee, such as proposed in Fullerton, she said the community would have to go to the City Council with a proposal.  

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Protesters in the neighborhood where police shot and killed Manuel Diaz, and fired less-than-lethal weapons on residents 

Protests continued late Sunday afternoon in the neighborhood where the police riot occurred. Elizabeth Aguilar was shot in her mouth and right arm by less-than-lethal rounds. Her father, Jose Aguilar, was arrested after he was shot with tear bullets. 

"He was protecting a lady upstairs and he was shot, three in the back and twice on the arm, then they arrested him." she said.

Sources told OC Weekly that a 16-year-old who was shot and carried by residents in the CBS Video has also been arrested. Five children in the neighborhood were either shot or grazed by less-than-lethal weapons. 

Police grabbed Rafael Brito while walking in the street holding a sign earlier this afternoon. He said he was driven by police around the corner and cited for jaywalking. 

"They asked me, 'Why are you doing that?'" Brito recalled. "I asked them, 'Why do you keep shooting us?'"

His cousin, Juan Brito, said the neighborhood is disenchanted with the pro-police media distortion of events. 

"They are saying everywhere he was a gang member and that he deserved it," Brito said. "If he was, does that give the police the right to kill him? Cops are supposed to lead by example. How are we supposed to look up to them if they keep killing people?"

UPDATE, 9:12 P.M. From Gustavo: Weekly reporter Brandon Ferguson is on the scene and says that more than 100 200 residents are protesting again near the site of yesterday's melee.

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Brandon Ferguson/OC Weekly
Dumpster burning near La Palma and Anna streets

A Dumpster is back on the street and now on fire, and two more were in the streets. Protestors threw glass bottles at officers and also at firefighters on the scene who were there to put out the fire.

Eeriest part: the crowd was chanting most of the night, but when the Dumpster fire started, the chanting crowd became quiet and watched as the city burned.
See photos of Sunday's protests here.

[UPDATE, 11 A.M., July 23] District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is asking all witnesses to recent police shootings in Anaheim to share their videos or photographs with his investigators. The special investigations hotline number is (714) 347-8544.

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