Excessive Force Claims Filed Over Police Violence in Anaheim

By Michelle Valles and Bill French
|  Monday, Mar 25, 2013  |  Updated 2:04 PM PDT
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Legal claims have been filed against the City of Anaheim over a series of much-publicized excessive force allegations. Eight Anaheim residents are seeking $500,000 each in damages. The city has 45 days to respond to the claims. Michelle Valles reports from Anaheim for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on January 23, 2013.

Michelle Valles

Legal claims have been filed against the City of Anaheim over a series of much-publicized excessive force allegations. Eight Anaheim residents are seeking $500,000 each in damages. The city has 45 days to respond to the claims. Michelle Valles reports from Anaheim for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on January 23, 2013.

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Residents near the scene where an unarmed Anaheim man was killed by police last summer have filed claims against the city for injuries, trauma and constitutional-rights violations.

The family of Manuel Diaz, 25, filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Anaheim almost immediately after his July 21, 2012, shooting death. This week, eight people who live on Anna Drive have followed suit.

Diaz’s shooting was one of two back-to-back fatal police shootings that sparked days of protests, which at times became violent.

Residents threw rocks and bottles at police and started fires in the street. Police fought back with pepper spray and rubber bullets.

Many were injured and then something happened that made matters worse: an unleashed police dog escaped from a patrol car and began biting bystanders

Anaheim Police Chief John Welter has already apologized for that incident, and told NBC4 last year that he’s put in place reformations to heal the relationship between residents and those sworn to protect them.

City officials are not commenting on the other matters raised in the residents’ legal claims. It's likely the claims could lead to more lawsuits, unless the city decides to put the entire episode behind it, at a price.

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