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- Anaheim Riots 2012
- By Alex Stubbins
- Three Latinos shot by officers in one week. That is what started the Anaheim riots of 2012, which was two months ago and so recent that, as far as I can tell, there isn't even a wikipedia article of it yet. It's most iconic symbol from the era was a poster a man carried with Mickey Mouse's face on it, with an Uzi near each cheek, a dollar sign above it's head, with the text spelled out "Hey kids! Check out my military police."
- First, a confession. I've never been in a riot, and I've never witnessed one. I don't live in a city. I don't know that that magic moment where the community gets screwed over and some people decide not to give them a taste of their own medicine, but to create their own. Was it right? That's controversial and debatable, just as much as it would be if someone asked if the shootings would have gotten as much attention had there been no riot.
- It had all started on the morning Manuel Diaz was shot. Some officers started moving toward him, and he started running. Then, one of the officers pulled his gun out of it's holster, aimed, and fired. Manuel was shot on the upper part of one his legs, and collapsed. Then, a second officer came closer to the man, raised a gun to the back of his head, and pulled the trigger. The police then stood by for three minutes, and all of them failed to practice CPR on the possibly still living, twitching Latino on the asphalt ground. This happened on Saturday, on the 21st of July.
- When people started gathering around the scene, the police reportedly started to perceive them as a threat. The police then fired on the crowd with "less than lethal" rubber bullets, and they released a police dog on the crowd which first knocked over a stroller. It then proceed to pounce on a woman, and than bite a mans arm. It was later reported that at least one woman and a child were hit with rubber bullets.
- Something I want to add here is that rubber bullets are a little more dangerous than some people give them credit for. In the study "Injuries caused by rubber bullets: A report on 90 patients" by R. Millar, W. H. Rutherford, S. Johnston, and V. J. Malhotra, the injuries of 90 patients who have been shot by rubber bullets are examined. To quote the abstract, "There was 1 death and 17 people in the series had permanent disabilities or deformities. In 41 patients the injuries necessitated admission to hospital. One fatality outside this series is known. Injuries to the head and neck were frequent and severe."
- After the forceful breakup, there was a protest the next day. If there was a description of what would happen in a police state, what I'm about to explain would probably be it. In a picture of the event, I counted 36 police cars. Thirty-six police cars came to repress the people similarly to the way they did to the bystanders of the shooting. Three people were hurt by rubber bullets, and there was one dog bite.
- Thirteen hours and 57 minutes after the police breakup of the above mentioned protest was tweeted, there was an emergency protest held at, and then inside, the police station which grew to 50+ people. There was even a shooting victim there to speak. Also in attendance were two sisters of a boy mauled by a police dog. The protest was successful, and made a large impact, but was uneventful.
- There were two pictures tweeted about a protest at Anna and La Palma. However, these pictures appear to no longer be accessible. I'd say almost suspiciously so, but I'm not one to theorize without any evidence to work with.
- On July 22, 2012 at 23:53 UTC, it was first reported that two police officers were on paid leave, and that they were the officers who shot the man Manuel Diaz. In the same report, it said "Anaheim City Councilwoman Lorri Galloway tells protesters in front of Anaheim Police headquarters Sunday she's asking the California Attorney General to investigate the shooting."
- On July 23, 2012, at 3:23 UTC some street marches were holding up traffic on La Palma Ave. At 9:12 PM, presumably local time, a dumpster was lit aflame. I believe that, had I been there, I would've seen this as the first sign that, for better or worse, the situation is about to escalate. In the same report, "District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is asking all witnesses to recent police shootings in Anaheim to share their videos or photographs with his investigators." It then gave a special investigations hotline number.
- July 23, 2012, at 8:14 UTC residents witnessed the end of a high pursuit chase. After the chase ended, the police opened fire, and another brown civilian bite the dust. It was the second Latino to be shot at in the span two days. Riot cops quickly came to the scene as residents began to pour out into the street. I suspect that the actions of both sides were expected by each other. As far as is commonly known, the situation did not escalate, but an hour later there were at least 20 police cars at the scene.
- At 23:23 UTC on July 24, there was a crowd of people for a march at Anaheim Blvd. There were then a crowd outside Anaheim. There were then almost 200 people outside of city hall to protest the shootings. I can't conclude that this was the final destination of the march, instead of two different events, though I am convinced it is because of the small amount of time in which these two event took place.
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