There is growing outrage over the police violence that took place in Anaheim, California yesterday.
Among other things police shot rubber bullets into an unarmed crowd and one released (or inadvertently let go of) an attack dog which attacked a mother and her child. And while the police violence against these citizens was shocking, unjustified, absurd, obscene and demented, what has been overshadowed by it all is the cause of the protest.
Earlier in the day, police had approached three black males; they fled, the police gave chase, and at least according to one eyewitness, one of the officers shot one of the men in the back and then in the head. He died hours later.
Crystal Ventura, a 17-year-old who lives in the neighborhood, said she saw the shooting from about 20 feet away. She said the man had his back to the officer. She said the man was shot in the buttocks area. The man then went down on his knees, and she said he was struck by another bullet in the head.The protest arose as community members gathered, angry at the police in general and enraged over yet one more example of police gunning down one of their own.
Daisy Gonzalez, 16, identified her uncle as the man shot by police. She ... said his name was Manuel Diaz. She said he likely ran away from officers when they approached him because of his past experience with law enforcement... "He never liked them because all they do is harass and arrest anyone," Gonzalez said after lighting a candle for her uncle. She cursed at the police who were nearby and a police helicopter that hovered above...
For the past several weeks... people can be found every Monday evening on the corner... waving signs and chanting, "Shame on APD!" Corie Cline has been going to the protests for about three months; her brother Joe Whitehouse was killed by Anaheim police in 2007... She brings along her 5-year-old son, who cheerfully joins in the chants, shouting, "Shame on the Anaheim police!" and, echoing the popular Occupy chant, "Whose streets? Our streets!"If you read my diary of two days ago, I Am The Mother of Murder Victim Alan Blueford, you will recognize the event that triggered this uprising as eerily reminiscent of what happened to Alan.
Justin Hertl was walking his grandmother Barbara Kordiak to her car... The next thing she knew, three shots had rung out and her grandson was lying on the ground bleeding. A fourth shot, she claims, killed him...
Jaclyn Conroy, aunt of Justin Hertl shot by Anaheim Police in 2003, listed off over a half dozen individuals shot by Anaheim Police, including the recent fatal shootings of Marcel Cejas, Roscoe Cambridge, David Rayas and Martin Hernandez.
So the neighborhood at the corner of East La Palma Avenue and Anna Drive did not spontaneously erupt into violence. The people were living on top of a police-fueled powder keg.
He and two friends were also approached by police officers. Alan ran, and an officer gave chase. Evidence now suggests that Alan was shot while lying on his back by an upright police officer. He had no weapon in hand; he had never fired a shot, and whether he even had a gun at any time is questionable.
Yesterday, at about the same time that Manuel Diaz was gunned down, hundreds of Oakland residents of all races, colors, ages and creeds or lack thereof, came together at Arroyo Park in East Oakland to rally against police violence with the Blueford family.
A small part of the crowd who came out in support of Alan Blueford yesterday.
In New York, massive protests have erupted recently against Stop and Frisk and the continued streams of police killings like the one where Ramarley Graham, 18 years old, was chased into his house by an NYPD officer and killed over a small amount of marijuana.
Ramarley Graham's funeral
In Florida, everyone who isn't in denial knows that had Zimmerman been black, and Martin white, Zimmerman would have been arrested on the spot and charged with murder. Protests against this injustice have been long and loud.
I don't really need to continue listing the dead, do I?
With the publishing of The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander, more and more people are becoming aware of how society and the criminal justice system validate the use of police violence and the judicial system against young men of color and anyone who dares to question their right to do so or the society which allows it all to fester.
Recognition isn't enough. Only if the people who are motivated to fight because of the death of Manual Diaz join with the people who are motivated to fight because of the death of Alan Blueford, who join with the people who are motivated to fight because of the death of Ramarley Graham, who join with those who are fighting for justice for Treyvon Martin, who join with all those across the country fighting against police violence and the reasons it exists on such a massive scale, will anything of significance come about.
If not, with the increased armaments and militarization of the police across the country, the slaying will only intensify and youngsters without a care in the world today...
Everyone loves a picnic. Even if the cause if grim.
will be holding their own 'Justice for X' rallies not so very long in the future.
Photo credits: Alyssa (Kossack allie123, Twitter alyssa101968).
8:14 PM PT: FYI: Population of Anaheim about 345,000. Population of Oakland about 390,000.
8:15 PM PT:
The ((Anaheim Police)) Department encourages a problem solving, community policing philosophy and works collaboratively with the community in addressing problems of crime and disorder.http://www.anaheim.net/...
8:40 PM PT: Anaheim residents protest inside police station.
9:21 PM PT: Phew, that's reassuring!
We remain committed to the prevention and removal of graffiti.-- Anaheim police
Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 7:03 AM PT:
The Weekly has obtained a video recorded in the immediate moments following the Anaheim Police Department shooting to death unarmed Manuel Diaz.http://blogs.ocweekly.com/...
The source (who requested anonymity) was on the scene, and audio from the video confirms what eyewitness accounts have confirmed but which police refuse to do: that Diaz was shot in the head.
The most harrowing part of the video, however, is the fact that Diaz was alive--and police stood there for over three minutes and did nothing. Instead, they seem more concerned with pushing witnesses away from the scene, the better to diminish the video quality of the footage, when they weren't actively trying to block the source from recording.
Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 7:06 AM PT: Apparently Anaheim police massed again late last night and various incidents took place. Here are a few tweets of the aftermath:
Sam A. @PaliCali48
Situation has calmed down big time cops now just harassing/interrogating the residents of this neighborhood #Anaheim #APDriot #FTP #OccupyOC
Retweeted by Courtney
Agents escorted by riot police waking up residents asking what they've seen, aggressive toward those who won't speak http://pic.twitter.com/...
Retweeted by Courtney
4h Sam A. @PaliCali48
This lady now pressing this man to wake up people in his apt 2 ask them questions about what they saw #Anaheim #APDriot http://pic.twitter.com/...