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The Videos Anaheim PD Doesn’t Want Us to See

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Last Sunday Kevin Gosztola wrote about the police shootings in Anaheim, CA and pointed to the reports from local network news reporters that the Anaheim police were trying to buy up cell phone videos residents might have of events. Now a video has surfaced which shows us why the Anaheim PD is so afraid of witness videos.

The video here, shot last Saturday, shows the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Manuel Diaz. As the OC Weekly describes it:

The most harrowing part of the video, however, is the fact that Diaz was alive–and police stood there for over three minutes and did nothing. Instead, they seem more concerned with pushing witnesses away from the scene, the better to diminish the video quality of the footage, when they weren’t actively trying to block the source from recording??Diaz is visibly twitching at the very beginning of the video. It’s not until about 3:13 into the video that police finally turn over Diaz, whose head is bloodied beyond belief.

As noted by the OC Weekly, you can hear witnesses yelling to the police that “He’s Still Alive” and asking them to do something to help Diaz.

Since last weekend, protesters have been out every day demanding an end to police shootings and brutality but the situation is not at all new:

This Anaheim neighborhood has been organizing for years in an effort to stop the police from murdering their family members and to get police-controlled information on how their loved ones were killed by the police.

They tried weekly marches in front of the Anaheim Police Station, which were first organized by Theresa Smith after her son was killed by the police in 2009. The killing continues.

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Take a look for example at this video from the 2012 Mother’s Day rally at which women who have lost family members to police shootings speak out.

Protests and efforts to stop these police crimes continued until finally:

in June 2012, the people were able to get the City Council to support an independent review of “major police incidents.” Yet, there is no timetable for the review, and the only outcome will be that the findings will be shared at a “public workshop” with the City Council. A month following that announcement, the Anaheim police murdered Manuel Diaz. The killing continues.

The Diaz family – seen here protesting and mourning their son – are suing the city where police continue to attack with impunity. Along with two further shootings – one fatal of an armed man, one other of an unarmed robber just in this past week – Anaheim PD continues its brutal treatment of neighborhood protesters and has now begun to attack journalists:

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While covering the Anaheim protests, APD begin firing riot control impact weapons at Tim Pool and Amber Lyon. Neither Tim nor Amber were hurt. Amber was pinned between two trucks and Tim was fired at multiple times after this video but is unscathed.

took the photo linked here showing “NBC journalist ducks down in drivers seat after PD riot weapons strike car windshield.

Protests are taking place around the country in solidarity with the people of Anaheim. Saturday protests were peaceful with Occupy Orange County taking the call for justice to outside Disneyland. Larger protests are expected Sunday at the Anaheim Police Station. As of 4PM Pacific Sunday, two peaceful protest marches have been held. Police were out in force – including SWAT teams and forces in military gear (see here). The video at left shows one of two arrests today – with police aiming weapons at observers and media who simply tried to see what was happening. A memorial service is planned for Manuel Diaz tonight and possibly more protests.

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The video at left shows one of two arrests today – with police aiming weapons at observers and media who simply tried to see what was happening.

As Mary Sanchez wrote in the Kansas City Star of the view in the video of Diaz’ murder earlier this week:

This is one view of America. A view far removed from the banal rhetoric beginning to define this presidential election — and from the worldview of the media industry that is supposed to cover such things. Why is it that such events, in this case pitched clashes between protesters and police in riot gear, seem so strange and random?

This is one view of America. Get to know it. Because the discontent in Anaheim instantiates an emerging political theme of 2012: the divide between the haves vs. have-nots, between the protected and the policed. We live in the same America, but trust me, we don’t all see it the same way.

Anaheim has had five fatal police shootings this year. The fourth and fifth came in one recent weekend, tipping off underlying tensions between police and the large (and largely impoverished) Latino community.

The man mentioned above who lay wounded as bystanders screamed for police to help him was Manuel Angel Diaz, 25. He was unarmed. Another Latino man they shot and killed, police say, was armed with a handgun and had fired at police.
Outraged over the deaths, hundreds of protesters marched to an already packed City Hall meeting and were turned away. Tensions turned ugly. Store windows were broken, goods stolen and police pelted with bottles and rocks. Law enforcement responded with pepperballs and beanbag rounds.

In a further irony, a brilliant fireworks display at Disneyland, that sacred ground of American consumer order, illuminated protesters and the police in riot gear confronting them. Same planet, different universe.

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Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com