Families of Men Killed by Anaheim Police to Hold March and Rally THIS SATURDAY

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Scene from last year's anniversary march
The second anniversaries of the killings of Manuel Angel Diaz and Joel Acevedo by Anaheim police is next week. The deaths, of course, led to riots that captured international media attention. Families of Acevedo, Diaz, and others killed by Anaheim PD will hold a rally and protest this Saturday to remember their loved ones.

Convened by the Young Survivors Legacy Support Network and supported by community organizations, the day's actions begin noontime at Stoddard Park. Activists are calling for an end of special privileges afforded by California's Peace Officers Bill of Rights. "This bill of rights protects them from ever being held accountable," says Genevieve Huizar, mother of Manuel Diaz. "It needs to be, if not abolished, revised."

The kick-off rally is set to feature speakers from various organizations and music. Family members are going to speak about their lost loved ones. A protest march headed... somewhere will follow afterward. "The main reason of keeping all this in the front line is so that it doesn't happen again," Huizar says. But others, perhaps, are quickly wanting to forget. The city delivered a letter to her stating its intention to take down the memorial where her son was killed on Anna Drive, citing a vandalism incident by a rival gang earlier this year reported by the Weekly.

"It was vandalized in March, why did the city wait until July to deliver the letter?" Huizar asks. "The community does not want it to be taken down." The city gave the grieving mother an extension until the end of the month--but that won't wipe the memory away, according to Huizar. "It will never be normal again not when people have the memory of someone being shot to death in broad daylight with children around."

The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office cleared Anaheim police officer Nick Bennallack in the fatal shooting of Diaz. The agency also declined to press charges against Kelly Phillips for Acevedo. Outside of investigations, not enough has changed inside Anaheim in the eyes of Joel's mother, Donna Acevedo.

"There's been some small reforms, but not enough," says Acevedo, who's running for Anaheim city council this year. "We've been given fake police oversight with no teeth. None of the families have seen justice. Our working-class communities are still treated like second class citizens."

For Huizar, memories of her son persist two years later. "I always see his same smile that he always used to give," she says. "I miss his smile, I miss his joking, I miss his dancing, I miss his impersonating Jim Carrey. I miss everything about him."

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Yes, let's protest to free USMS Sgt. Tahmooressi from Mexican Jail and against Mexican Police Brutality. The marine is innocent.


People also work on sat. Not nice to call someone a name for asking"

Yes they may hold it on the weekend because most are off thats all.


Don't these people have jobs?


justice for all families who lost loved ones by killer cop <3 wake up people <3

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter


With all due respect, it has been my personal experience that someone asks questions like "Don't these people have jobs?" when they don't think the cause is worthwhile. In this particular case it does make that guy a jerk...but that's just my opinion.


@fishwithoutbicycle @Tommyray

Ending police brutality is a worthwhile cause. However, most of us would prefer they do it without disrupting traffic and causing lost wages to all the hourly workers at Disneyland and the surrounding hotels who probably live below the poverty line.(If you're late for work due to protesters the average Anaheim employer, including Disney, isn't going to compensate you for that time.) There's also the extra fuel costs for these workers which might not seem like much but when you only work a 4 hour shift at minimum wage then $2+ traffic "fee" the protesters imposed on you can be a little frustrating. And if you're really a radical you can factor in the unnecessary CO2, NO2, and other tailpipe emissions from the traffic jam. Tailpipe emissions costs disproportionately fall upon the poor in SoCal and arguably the impoverished overseas when you factor in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. For far too many Anaheim workers this protest seemed like a case of professional protesters with the luxury of having a Saturday off that felt like their partisan sideshow needs outweighed those of Anaheim workers. 

The protesters had no intention of fixing the corrupt Anaheim City Council, firing the Anaheim P.D. Police Chief, and actually accomplishing reform. Their purpose Saturday was to put on a show, build roots for future partisan idiocy, and feed ignorant participants the lie that they're just like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi and MLK Jr. didn't consume narcotics in front of children. Gandhi and MLK Jr. didn't hide from the police when they engaged in civil disobedience. Gandhi and MLK Jr. welcomed the working class instead of sexually harassing them and calling them Nazis on the way to work.

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