To serve and protect, eh? In Anaheim, California, residents were protesting the police killing of a fleeing suspect—and the feeling that there is a general culture of excessive force and police brutality—when cops decided to prove a point. At a near-riot populated by women and children, local police opened fire with rubber bullets, threw tear gas canisters, and sicked K-9 dogs on the crowd, including setting a dog after a woman holding a baby.
ABC 7 reports that the trouble began after Anaheim police shot and killed a pursuit suspect while chasing three men down an alley around 4:00 p.m. An officer shot one of the suspects, 24-year-ild Manuel Diaz, in the buttocks. Diaz fell to his knees and was then struck in the head by another police bullet.
CBS Los Angeles reports that another officer then handcuffed Diaz, who was not moving, and searched his pockets before handcuffing his motionless body and rushing him to a local hospital. The Raw Story reports that he died three hours later.
Residents, who have long complained about police violence, were enraged by the Diaz shooting. They set fire to a dumpster and blocked off a street, and as police attempted to investigate the shooting, some people threw bottles at them.
One woman spoke to local news source ABC 7 and showed huge red welts she got from protecting her children:
“Anaheim PD opened fire into a crowd of women and children and released the K-9 dogs. There was rubber pellets, women got hit, men got hit, babies got knocked over by dogs, kids got bit by dogs,” described Joel Hunt Jr., a Fullerton resident.
Yesenia Rojas from Orange said she was trying to protect her children during the incident when she was struck multiple times by rubber pellets. Red welts could be seen on her arms and on the side of her abdomen.
“Is Anaheim police really protecting our communities? They’re not protecting our communities. They’re killing our kids,” said Rojas.
In this video, young witnesses speak out about what they experienced there, including some children who were hit by rubber bullets: