The Mayor of Anaheim has a problem. First a police attack dog unleashed on women and children, then like a dog
with a taste for blood, Anaheim police have killed an unarmed civilian - again. This time, just miles from
Disneyland. Eight killings just this year. The first victim this last weekend, twenty-something Manuel Diaz,
reportedly shot in the back of the head and left to gasp for breath on the ground. Pronounced
dead on arrival at the hospital. 24 hours later, on Sunday, a second man, reportedly shot - "execution style"
Both victims were shot while fleeing Anaheim Police. Since Anaheim police have a record and history of
abusing their power and killing or injuring those have sworn to serve and protect them, it has sparked such
outrage in the community that ongoing events are held each weekend in Anaheim - peaceful protests against
police brutality, and to mourn the victims. Both new victims last weekend were reportedly shot in the
back while fleeing. Is this a cowardly lack of restraint and judgement from the Anaheim Police Department?
According to the Orange County Register, "this city's Police Department already has had six officer-involved
shootings so far this year. In comparison, Santa Ana's department has had two officer-involved shootings;
no one was struck in either incident."
"the recent spree of eight officer-related shootings which have ignited two nights of protests. On Saturday,
local Los Angeles news station KCAL 9 was at the scene of an earlier shooting of an unarmed young man by a
uniformed Anaheim police officer. News video coverage shows neighborhood residents that had gathered at
the scene of the shooting. Suddenly, Anaheim officers are seen opening fire on men, women, and children
with bean bags, pepper spray and a K-9 police dog being released into the crowd, viciously attacking and
"Last month, city officials announced that an independent review would be conducted into what were described
as "major police incidents," the Register reported. The inquiry came on the heels of weekly protests outside
the police station, led by relatives of those killed in officer-involved shootings...Before Saturday's incident,
the most two recent fatal shootings involving Anaheim police were in January, the newspaper said."
"Two Anaheim police officers have been placed on paid leave following the fatal shooting of a man that has
outraged residents of the Orange County city."
Outrage in the community has reached a fever pitch. Even though the BBC and blogs in Atlanta are reporting it,
there was all but a media blackout on Saturday night. Citizen journalists worked through the night, to bring
video and cell phone footage of incidents to the internet. Diaz, shot in the back of the head, reportedly
gasping for breath and dying as someone shouted "he's still alive!" was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police were later accused of offering to "buy evidence," cell phone footage. News reports after the fact
are coming out that it was "gang related" and "Latino," however, earlier reports show a different story.
“One officer unleashes a snarling police dog, which attacks a mother holding a child and this bystander.” A woman appears on camera visibly distraught and finding it hard to compose herself says, “They just released
the dog and I had my baby.” She says the dog scratched her with his teeth and grabbed her. She says later she
saw people throwing water bottles in the air and then they started shooting everyone. They shot a little kid
The [KCAL9] segment ends with Jackson saying what I believe is the real story (and what I put in the headline).
After police fired at innocent men, women and children, who were at most angry about a shooting in their
community, the police went into damage control mode. They asked multiple people, who had been shooting video
with their cell phones to let officers “buy” their footage so it would not be seen on the Internet."
These police killings come on the heels of the shocking case of Scott Olsen, during the Occupy Wall Street
protests in Oakland. A Marine who survived two terms in Iraq shot in the head with a "projectile"
while peacefully protesting, unarmed. A Federal Judge has threatened sanctions for Oakland's military type
Scott Olsen suffered brain damage to the "speech" center of his brain. Ironic, that this should happen while
he was enjoying his Freedom of Speech and Right to Free Assembly. It begs the question. Do cops understand
what freedom means? Do they understand what this soldier was told he was fighting for? Do they understand that
if we are to represent "freedom" around the world, shouldn't this soldier be safe when he comes back from war,
to walk the streets arm in arm with his neighbors and peacefully demonstrate against a corrupt system like
Wall Street owning our Government? What kind of a world do we want to teach to our children when this is
the way we treat those who enlist and risk their lives, to serve us?
It started in New York, with unarmed women being groped and pepper sprayed. Boston, Denver, until the kettle
boiled over in California. Police on video in Oakland don't appear to know or care who they're shooting at.
All they appear to know is that they've got all this fancy new gear to play with and they'll "kettle" the
people and shoot stuff and when someone falls to the ground, oh well, keep on shooting.
Never mind that veteran, or that granny. That mother or that father. Never mind that these are human beings.
We've got new Homeland Security toys and we're going to turn them on the Homeland. It should be enough to
make anyone's blood boil.
Los Angeles got into a lot of trouble when Rodney King's beating was caught on tape. Even more so, when the
officers got what seemed like a slap on the wrist and the riots broke out. Why would riots break you, you ask?
Well, it's simple. Everyone knew what we saw on video was what happened. They wanted us all
to pretend we didn't see what we saw. It was an eerie day in downtown, he headlines came out about those
cops getting off, who beat Rodney King. Riots broke out shortly thereafter.
"12-Person Jury, which included 10 whites and no African Americans, Issued its Verdicts: Not Guilty on
When people had already seen this video:
"Civilian George Holliday, standing on a balcony in an apartment complex across the street, focused the lens
of his new video camera on the commotion unfolding by Hansen Dam Park. In the first few seconds of what would
become a very famous 89-second video, King is seen rising after the Taser shots and running in the direction of
Officer Powell. The officers alleged that King was charging Powell, while King himself later claimed that an
officer told him, "We're going to kill you, nigger. Run!" and he tried to flee. All the arresting officers
were white, along with all but one of the other two dozen or so law enforcement officers present at the scene.
With the roar of a helicopter above, very few commands or remarks are audible in the video.
With King running in his direction, Powell swung his baton, hitting him on the side of the head and knocking
him to the ground. This action was captured by the video, but the next 10 seconds were blurry as Holliday
shifted the camera. From the 18- to 30-second mark in the video, King attempted to rise, and Powell and Wind
attacked him with a torrent of baton blows that prevented him from doing so. From the 35- to 51-second mark,
Powell administered repeated baton blows to King's lower body. At 55 seconds, Powell struck King on the chest,
and King rolled over and lay prone. At that point, the officers stepped back and observed King for about 10
seconds. Powell began to reach for his handcuffs.
At 65 seconds on the video, Officer Briseno stepped roughly on King's upper back or neck, and King's body
writhed in response. Two seconds later, Powell and Wind again began to strike King with a series of baton blows,
and Wind kicked him in the neck six times until 86 seconds into the video. At about 89 seconds, King put his
hands behind his back and was handcuffed. Sergeant Koon never made an effort to stop the beating, and only
one of the many officers present briefly intervened, raising his left arm in front of a baton-swinging
colleague in the opening moments of the videotape, to no discernible effect. An ambulance was called, and King
was taken to the hospital. Struck as many as 56 times with the batons, he suffered a fractured leg, multiple
facial fractures, and numerous bruises and contusions. Unaware that the arrest was videotaped, the officers
downplayed the level of violence used to arrest King and filed official reports in which they claimed he
suffered only cuts and bruises "of a minor nature."
George Holliday sold his video of the beating to the local television station, KTLA, which broadcast the
footage and sold it to the national Cable News Network (CNN). The widely broadcast video caused outrage around
the country and triggered a national debate on police brutality. Rodney King was released without charges,
and on March 15 Sergeant Koon and officers Powell, Wind, and Briseno were indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury
in connection with the beating ...Because of the uproar in Los Angeles surrounding the incident, the judge,
Stanley Weisberg, was persuaded to move the trial outside Los Angeles County to Simi Valley in Ventura County.
On April 29, 1992, the 12-person jury, which included 10 whites and no African Americans, issued its verdicts:
not guilty on all counts, except for one assault charge against Powell that ended in a hung jury.
The acquittals touched off rioting and looting in Los Angeles that grew into the most destructive U.S. civil
disturbance of the 20th century. In three days of violence, more than 50 people were killed, more than 2,000
were injured, and nearly $1 billion in property was destroyed. On May 1, President George H.W. Bush ordered
military troops and riot-trained federal officers to Los Angeles to quell the riot."
After the public shame, Los Angeles brought in Chief Bratton, a tough Irish cop from from the streets of Boston.
"Bratton's methods – which he used to turn around the Boston and New York police departments before the
LAPD – are well documented in his 2002 autobiography, "Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the
Crime Epidemic," according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Yeah, so for a while, the LAPD behaved themselves. Chief Bratton is gone now. The recent Chalk Walk incident
shows they'll abuse their power given the chance. Footage of one incident shows a cop kicking an injured
youngster, already down on the ground - in the head.
California is not alone in this legacy of police brutality. Not just the recent abuses suffered in New York
where unarmed female Occupy Wall Street protesters were pepper sprayed at point blank range by a cop abusing
Philadelphia, as reported by Democracy Now, also has a violent history of police brutality: "Most people are aware of the recent police beating of Thomas Jones here in Philadelphia, but fewer
people remember the police beating of Delbert Africa in 1978 caught on videotape and broadcast worldwide.
This incident prompted the Department of Justice to file the first ever lawsuit against a city for police
brutality. In 1985, the police dropped C-4 plastique from a state helicopter on the MOVE house resulting in
the death of eleven people including five children. Sixty-one homes were burned to the ground. Ramona Africa
emerged from the flames and still carries the scars from that day. Our guests will discuss the history of
police brutality in Philadelphia."
The first known use of the term "police brutality" was in the New York Times in 1893, describing a police
officer's beating of a civilian.
"Bloody Sunday" refers to March 7, 1965, when Alabama police attack Selma-to-Montgomery Marchers.
"Between 1961 and 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had led a voting registration
campaign in Selma, the seat of Dallas County, Alabama, a small town with a record of consistent resistance to
black voting. When SNCC’s efforts were frustrated by stiff resistance from the county law enforcement
officials, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were persuaded by
local activists to make Selma’s intransigence to black voting a national concern. SCLC also hoped to use the
momentum of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to win federal protection for a voting rights statute.
During January and February, 1965, King and SCLC led a series of demonstrations to the Dallas County
courthouse. On February 17, protester Jimmy Lee Jackson was fatally shot by an Alabama state trooper.
In response, a protest march from Selma to Montgomery was scheduled for March 7.
Six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on Sunday, March 7, and, led by SNCC and SCLC, crossed the
Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River en route to Montgomery. Just short of the bridge, they
found their way blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around.
When the protesters refused, the officers shot teargas and waded into the crowd, beating the nonviolent
protesters with billy clubs and ultimately hospitalizing over fifty people. “Bloody Sunday” was
televised around the world. Martin Luther King called for civil rights supporters to come to
Selma for a second march. When members of Congress pressured him to restrain the march until a court
could rule on whether the protesters deserved federal protection, King found himself torn between their
requests for patience and demands of the movement activists pouring into Selma. King, still conflicted,
led the second protest on March 9 but turned it around at the same bridge. King’s actions exacerbated the
tension between SCLC and the more militant SNCC, who were pushing for more radical tactics that would move
from nonviolent protest to win reforms to active opposition to racist institutions.
In modern times, cities like Minneapolis have set up groups like "Communities United Against Police Brutality."
As more and more people are not just fed up with the violence, but the cost to taxpayers, defending bullies.
In Baltimore, millions have been spent on police brutality lawsuits. According to the Baltimore Sun,
"$10.4 million spent defending city officers in past three years."
Chicago appears to have the same problem. NBC Chicago reports that "filed primarily as civil rights cases
in U.S. District Court -- over the past decade. In all, she found, the city paid out more than $45 million
in the three years from 2009 through 2011 for all settlements and judgments involving police brutality and
misconduct. Her findings on officers who were repeatedly accused of brutality show that payments for these
"repeaters" are significant."
The northwest is no exception. From the pepper spraying of 84 year old Dorli Rainey to seventeen-year-old
Joey Wilson, whose family has filed a Police Brutality lawsuit, the Seattle Police Department has also been
out of control. According to Seattle's King 5, Wilson "called a neighbor for help soon after a police officer stopped him
for jaywalking across a Queen Anne street. When the neighbor arrived, he thought the situation was getting
out of control, and quickly went back for his camera. Joey explains what happened next. 'Two officers
grabbed my arm. A third one started punching me. In the stomach, in the nose. My hands were being held I
could not defend myself. I was thrown to the ground and I was kneed in the face. I felt my nose break,'
he said … Joey had a concussion and broken nose."
Seattle pi reports that "eleven months after pledging to 'take a very deep dive' into allegations against
the Seattle Police Department, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan has released a highly critical report of a
Department of Justice investigation into police brutality in Seattle."
Police Brutality appears to be at epidemic levels in the U.S. As unrest and protests around the world
bubble over, it's important now more than ever to stand up against this injustice and set an example of what
it means to peacefully protest. Our Founding Fathers set aside these rights for a reason. It wasn't just for
nothing that they called it "Freedom of Assembly." They knew. They knew it was important for We, The People
to have a say. They knew it was important for us to be able to get together and share our views, our common
ground, our common grievances. They knew, the rich and powerful would and could abuse us. That is why they
gave us a vote. It may not seem like much, but for its time, considering the monarchy was still in power,
it meant a lot.
We have marched, fought, and died for our rights to evolve. To include people of all races, all sexes.
There are still those who reminisce for the days of bigotry. Who want to beat back the march of time and set
our clocks back, not just to pre civil rights, but to the dark ages. Each day, there are new assaults against
freedom - freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly. While the idea of "freedom" is
bastardized by things like war for oil and a Citizens United case that equates money with speech. If money
equals speech then only those who have the most money have the most speech. How is that freedom?
If we are to be citizens of the world, if we are to set an example for other countries that don't even have
the right to vote yet, who may still be fighting and dying just for that right, isn't it time we all stand up,
not just for ourselves, but for our fellow human beings? Our family, our friends, our neighbors, our
co-workers. We each have a story to tell.
Anaheim is in the news today. Two men were reported to be shot in the back last weekend. Which city will be
next? How many people will have to die or be injured before people demand elected officials take notice?
How many millions have to be spent by the taxpayers, defending this excusable behavior?
Federal court records show that an animal rights protester who was protesting the Ringling Brothers
Circus received undisclosed damages in exchange for him dropping the lawsuit that would have been heard in
U.S. District Court Judge. The OC Weekly reports that he "suffered 'a gash in his neck that required
hospitalization and stitches,' according to the lawsuit that also accused officers Jonathan Kirkpatrick
and Angelica Mejia of violating his rights."
Mayor of Anaheim Tom Tait has more pressure now, than just any city. Anaheim is home to Disneyland.
Flying bullets, unarmed civilian killings, community unrest and outrage, does not bode well for a
Disneyland Dream Vacation. According to a recent statement released, the mayor has reached out to
California Attorney General Kamala Harris. "I will ask for a full investigation of this incident by
an independent, credible outside entity. Transparency is essential … The investigation will seek the
truth, and whatever the truth is, we will own it."
Will Anaheim set the example for transparency and accountability? The Anaheim officers who killed those
two unarmed civilians this weekend, are reported to be on "paid leave." Is that justice? The world is
Tags: Anaheim, Anaheim Police, Chicago Police Brutality, Chief Bratton, Denver, History of Police Brutality, LAPD, Los Angeles, Minneapolis Police Brutality, New York, New York City, NYPD, Oakland, Occupy Orange County, Occupy Wall Street, Philadelphia Police Brutality, Police Brutality, Rodney King