Anaheim officials cancelled Tuesday's "National Night Out" -- an event meant to connect communities with law enforcement -- amid concerns of protests over recent fatal police shootings in the city which sparked days of violent protests, according to KPCC.
"We received information people had planned to protest and potentially disrupt our National Night Out," Sergeant Bob Dunn, with the Anaheim Police Department, told the radio station.
Tuesday’s event was set to take place in Stoddard Park, and officials say they were unable to find a new location big enough to accomodate the event on short notice. Several cities in Southern California hosting National Night Out planned cookouts, outdoor movie screenings and parades to mark the crime-prevention event.
Since late last month, demonstrations have rocked the city of 341,000 following the police-shooting deaths of Manuel Angel Diaz on July 21, and Joel Matthew Acevedo on July 22.
Timeline: Anaheim Police Shootings
Diaz was unarmed when he led officers on a foot chase through an alley, where officials say they have seen a spike in narcotics- and gang-related crime. Protests over that shooting carried into the next day, drawing nearly 100 demonstrations to stand outside the Anaheim Police Department shout, “No Justice! No Peace!”
The next day, officials say Acevedo – a documented gang member – fired at officers after leading them on a pursuit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Demonstrators protesting the shootings, at times, numbered in the hundreds, and several people have been arrested. Many of the protests were marred by fires and vandalism.
Tuesday’s cancellation was the latest decision prompted by those protests.
Days after the pair of fatal shootings and a string of rowdy protests last month, Anaheim cancelled two Neighborhood Council meetings – meant to give residents a way to express their concerns to city government employees and law enforcement.
Local, state and federal agencies are investigating the shootings, including the U.S. Attorney's office, the State Attorney General, the Anaheim Police Department's Office of Internal Affairs and -- as is usual for officer-involved shootings -- the Orange County District Attorney's Office.