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Anaheim police killings spark community protests

By staff

Protest against police killing in Anaheim, CA

Anaheim, CA – Manuel Diaz, a 25-year old Chicano, was shot in the back and in the head by Anaheim police in the afternoon of July 21. The police killing took place in a Chicano working-class community, where most people live in apartments and where families know, get along with and hear each other. Diaz was murdered while standing in his front lawn. The police have given no reason or probable cause for attempting to stop him.

The close-knit community immediately began to protest and denounce this brutal racist killing. During the protest, police fired rubber bullets, hitting many people. The cops let loose a police dog that attacked a child and mother and mauled a young man. Five people were arrested and half a dozen injured.

Then on July 22, police killed another man, Joel Acevedo.

Anaheim Police Chief John Welter claimed he’s “very concerned” about the killings. The Orange County district attorney's office, which investigates police shootings, is looking into these cases.

On July 23, there were several press conferences to denounce the Diaz killing. People united for a protest in the community on North Anna Drive. Their shouts and chants demanded justice for Manuel and jail for the killer cop.

Many in the community are visibly traumatized but they have united to demand justice and to stop future police brutality. This Chicano community is near the Disneyland and many feel the city, along with developers, want to suppress and keep the Chicano community down. The corporations want to promote the area as a major tourist attraction and resort.

The community called for another rally at the Anaheim City Hall on July 24, where they also plan to speak out during the weekly city council meeting.

Chicanos have faced blatant racism, discrimination, police brutality and police killing in the Southwest since the Mexican American war. At that time the U.S. militarily occupied the Southwest – the area that many Chicanos now refer to as Aztlan, the Chicano Nation.

Veteran Chicano activist Carlos Montes visited with the community of North Anna Street on July 23 to give them support, show solidarity and to link the struggle against police killing to the fight for Chicano self-determination.

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