Joshua Rich, Arrested Anaheim Protester, Sued Police for Alleged Beating in 2005

Joshua Rich arrested after police claim he had a gun

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On July 24, Joshua Rich was the first demonstrator arrested outside of Anaheim City Hall during a protest against the police shootings of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo. The 37-year-old Anaheim resident was the demonstrator rumored to have a gun during a protest that turned into civil unrest into the night.

Rich told OC Weekly he did not have a gun, and claims he was targeted because of his "biker dude" appearance. According to Orange County Superior Court records, Rich was charged with resisting arrest--and it wasn't the first time Anaheim police had messed with him.

He claims to have been subject to police abuse and harrassment over several years while living in the city. In 2005, Rich sued the Anaheim Police after he suffered major injuries after an alleged beating outside of his home. The encounter did not result in his arrest, and the only other infraction Rich has in Orange County is a speeding ticket.

During the July 24 protest, Anaheim Police Sergeant Bob Dunn told NBC News a man was booked for resisting arrest after officers received a call that he may have a gun in his waistband, however, no weapons were found. A video on KCAL 9 News captured Rich's arrest, which was right after a crowd started running to the side of City Hall after protesters claimed seeing a police officer pulling out a 9mm handgun. The footage of the arrest can be seen at 35 seconds into the video.

The KCAL reporter claims Rich was throwing rocks, but Rich was never told that's why he was being detained and denies he threw any objects during the protest; not to mention, police had told the media that the reason he was arrested was because they thought he had a gun. Rich says he was not beat this time around, but did have some bruises and lacerations.

During his encounter with police that led to the aforementioned lawsuit, he suffered a dislocated shoulder, internal stomach bleeding and chipped teeth after the alleged beating took place over several minutes, which he compared to the Kelly Thomas and Rodney King police beatings. He says he was offered a settlement, which he refused as it barely covered his medical expenses. The case ended up going to trial, and the jury ultimately sided with the Anaheim Police.

Rich is a former robotics engineer and has worked on several major motion pictures and commercials as a special effects manager. Currently he runs a software business with clients that include major banks, and he invests in real estate.  

As a homeowner in Anaheim for six years, he says he has spent too much time and money trying to battle false police accusations. Rich says he wants rent his house out to tourists and move "far far away," preferably a house on the beach.

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