Anaheim Quieting Down After Cops, Protestors Clash

by dave on July 27, 2012

It’s been a tumultuous past week in Anaheim, as police clashed with protestors following the police-killings of two men, one of which was unarmed. Mayor Tom Tait has said the Office of the U.S. Attorney has agreed to investigate the shootings and has asked the people of Anaheim to remain calm while the investigation takes place.

Two reported gang members were shot and killed by Anaheim police in two days, in separate incidents. According to the OC Register, the first was 25-year old Manuel Angel Diaz, who was shot as he fled from police. The other was a 21-year old who police say fired on them during a foot chase. Outrage, particularly over the shooting of unarmed-Diaz sparked anger within the community.

Initial protests were volatile, with police cars being damaged and windows broken. It was these acts that pushed the police to declare an “unlawful assembly,” using rubber bullets and pepper spray against the crowd. During those protests, numerous people were injured.

According to the NY Times, at one point, there were more than 1,000 protestors present.

Over several days, a few dozen arrests were made, most of which were Anaheim residents, despite some indications from city leaders that the protests were being encouraged by people from outside of the area who simply came to town in the wake of the shootings to stir up trouble.

Charges against those arrested include assault, battery, and resisting arrest. More than likely, some were also arrested for disorderly conduct.

The family of Mr. Diaz has already filed a lawsuit, claiming that not only was he shot in the back while unarmed and trying to leave, but that once he stopped and fell to his knees, he was shot again in the back of the head.

Incidents like this are bound to outrage a community, particularly if there are already-present tensions between the people and the police. But angry protests like this nearly always result in arrests.

Disorderly conduct laws vary widely from state to state. However, once the police declared this particular protest an unlawful assembly, they gave themselves permission to arrest those who failed to disperse upon command. By their own determination, it was time to stop the protestors’ rights to peacefully assemble.

When you are accused of a disorderly conduct offense, whether it’s rioting or resisting arrest, you face very serious penalties if convicted. Get the legal help promptly to protect your rights.

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