Community organizers are demanding accountability and reform in the wake of two fatal shootings by Anaheim police. The deaths are creating tension in the Latino community, which makes up more than half of the city's population. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Monday, July 23, 2012.
It's on signs and on faces of residents: there is a palpable anger developing in Anaheim against the police department, involved in two fatal shootings over the weekend.
That tension was very much present as family members and neighbors of 25-year-old Manuel Angel Diaz planned a car wash to raise funds for Diaz’s family.
Diaz's killing by an Anaheim police officer after a foot chase Saturday exploded into protest over the weekend, both on the streets where trash bins were set on fire and at police headquarters where demonstrators lashed out.
“The police are nothing but murderers. Killing an innocent person, that’s not right,” said Diaz’s niece.
Residents say eight officer-involved shootings, including two over the weekend, reveal an out of control force that's at war with their community. But police say they are trying to quell a spike in gang and narcotics-related crime in the area.
Four men were arrested in the weekend protest, one of whom was held in custody in connection with a gang-related homicide in the city in May, police said Monday.
Gabriel Calderon, 20, and four others were arrested when tensions rose among a crowd of up to 100 people protesting the police shooting of Diaz, police said
David Rodriguez has had his run-ins with police, which he accuses of profiling.
“They see a Mexican, bald headed driving down the street, first thing they do – boom – pull you over. For what reason? Cause you are bald headed, look like a Mexican… you a gang member right away,” Rodriguez said.
Community activist Jose Moreno says residents want a crime-fighting police force, but are worried it's gone too far.
“We trust that the police is trying to do the best. No organization is going to be perfect. What we are seeking is full transparency,” Moreno said.
Another a protest is planned for Tuesday, July 24, in front of Anaheim City Hall.
On Sunday, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait vowed a full and transparent investigation and called for the California Attorney General’s Office to assist in the case.