By: Lauren Saccone
The mayor of Anaheim, California is calling for a federal investigation of the local police force. Over the course of one weekend, two police officers shot and killed men in two separate incidents.
On Saturday, two police officers chased down three men and suspected gang members loitering in an alley. The three men fled the scene, and in the resulting chaos one of the suspects, Manuel Diaz, was fatally shot. Further investigation proved that Diaz had no weapons upon his person at the time of his death. His family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the city of Anaheim.
Less than one day later, officers came into contact with Joel Acevedo, a known gang member on probation as he was driving. The officers attempted to stop the car. The suspect fled on foot, reportedly firing shots at the officers as he ran. In the ensuing chase, the man was killed by police gunfire.
These two shootings sparked angry protests and demonstrations throughout the city of Anaheim, resulting in clashes with the police. Officers fired pepper spray at the protesters as they confronted police. At least 24 people have been arrested during the violent protests of police brutality.\
“To the people in the city that are troubled about what happened, I’d like to tell you that I am committed to keeping the lines of communication open and to keeping the process completely transparent, “swore Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait in a public statement. “We all must be respect of one another. We all my be kind.”
The FBI is conducting an enquiry into the shootings that will determine whether a civil rights investigation would be warranted. The district attorney’s office is performing a separate exploration into the matter. The police have stated that they behaved with due cause in both shootings and will be vindicated by any and all investigations.
[Pic via Flickr - Highway Patrol Images]