Residents Speak at Emergency Anaheim City Council Meeting

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Brandon Ferguson
News vans line the boulevard outside of Anaheim City Hall. The city council held an emergency meeting to discuss a lawsuit recently brought against the city by the ACLU.
Today, a small group of Anaheim residents addressed an emergency meeting of the city council before public officials went behind closed doors to discuss, among other things, a recent lawsuit brought against the city by the ACLU. The suit filed in June alleges the city's majority Latino population isn't properly represented by the five member council, none of whom are Latino.

The group of about 20 speakers, still seething over the July 21 death of unarmed Anna Drive resident Manuel Diaz, spoke in support of voting districts, and the creation of civilian oversight of police.  

Criticisms were also leveled at the city's police department, which some feel responded to recent legal protests with paramilitary equipment.  

One speaker, who declined to give his name said unrest during last Sunday's protests wasn't the result of Occupiers from areas outside of Anaheim.

"Outside instigators were not comrades that came from Oakland or LA." he said. "They were Fullerton PD, Brea PD and other officers that came in riot gear."


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Brandon Ferguson
Theresa Smith, whose son Caesar Cruz was shot by Anaheim police in 2009, addresses the city council.
Anaheim resident Father Arturo Ferreras, who officiated a prayer vigil for Diaz on Sunday discussed the need for more than four districts, the number currently being considered by the council.  

"We believe in a diverse community like Anaheim to only have four districts is not enough," he said. And when it comes to business-community conflict, the business always wins."

In addition to voting and police oversight, questions were raised as to whether or not next week's regular council meeting will be cancelled out of fear of more unrest.  Non-profit news agency Voice of OC reported today that Councilmember Lorri Galloway suggested as much.

The meeting is scheduled to be held in the Anaheim High School Auditorium. After last week's meeting saw the small council chambers reach capacity rioting broke out in the downtown area.  Councilmember Kris Murray told the Voice of OC that Galloway's claim is false and that the meeting will happen, but during public comments today, Joan Sosa of the group Take Back Anaheim questioned the council's resolve. 

"If you are afraid," Sosa said, "You shouldn't be serving the people."


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