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License to kill and suppress protests by the U.S. Police State in Anaheim, California (Updated) Printer friendly page Print This
By Les Blough. Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012

(Updated with photo of an arrest and statement on fact-checking below)

The United States police killed 2 unarmed U.S. citizens and used violence to oppress resulting public protests in the Disneyland city of Anaheim, California. On Saturday, July 21 the Anaheim police shot to death 24-year-old Manuel Diaz.

Manuel Diaz was killed with a bullet to the head
after being shot by police in the buttocks.

Lupe Diaz, right, sister of Manuel Diaz, gets a hug from activist, Theresa Smith during a protest in front of the Anaheim Police Department, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif. Manuel Diaz, an allegedly unarmed man, was shot by Anaheim Police on Saturday, The Orange County Register reports. Smith said her son was also killed by police two years ago. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Mindy Schauer) (Comment: Washington Examiner)

On Sunday, July 22 and during the time of the people's protest of Manuel's murder, the police killed Joel Acevedo who was already in handcuffs before the police shot him.

Joel Acevedo shot and killed by Anaheim police
while handcuffed on Sunday, July 23, 2012.

The police later claimed that Joel had a gun and produced the following photo of the lower half of Joel's body but without showing his hands that were reported by witnesses to be handcuffed. The gun appears to be well-placed for the photo shoot.

Photo by Scene TV

Manuel Diaz was the sixth* person shot by the Anaheim police this year, five of them fatally. He was with several men who were standing in an alley when an umarked police car approached. The men ran and the police first shot Manuel in the buttocks as he ran. Then they put a bullet in his head. Theresa Smith, has worked with families, demanding police accountability in Anaheim since 2009, when officers shot and killed her son, Cesar Cruz in a Walmart parking lot. Cesar was a 35-year-old father of five. Of the most recent killings she stated, "Given the fact that this is the eighth officer-involved shooting within one year in the city of Anaheim ... the community is going to be very upset."

After the 2 police killings this week in Anaheim, the police attacked the crowds who protested the killings, shooting "rubber bullets* and pepper spray canisters into the protestors, injuring more and in one case unleashed an attack dog which attacked a man and a woman carrying a baby.

Six Anaheim cops arresting a protester on July 24, 2012. The one lying on his back appears to be placing a choke-hold on his victim. 

*Facts about Rubber Bullets

Rubber bullets are often reported by the media in ways that suggest that they are a relatively harmless method of crowd control. They were first developed by the British,"Round, Anti-Riot, 1.5in. Baton"— to use against protestors in Northern Ireland. Between 1970 and 2005, they killed 17 people with these projectiles. Israel further designed them in two types of projectiles and firing methods, the "standard rubber bullet" and the "steel bullet covered with a thin layer of rubber." This allows for either type to be called a"rubber bullet," suggesting non-lethal results. Most of their Palestinian victims killed by their "rubber bullets" resulted from a bullet to the victim's head. Their lethality is determined by the composition of the bullet, the velocity at which it is fired, the distance from the target at whom it is fired and the area of the victim's body that is struck. One study by the British Journal of Surgery reported on 90 patients shot with rubber bullets:

"The injuries in 90 patients caused by rubber bullets are described. 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."

Anthony G. Williams wrote for Jane's Police Products Review:

"Less-lethal ammunition, also known as riot control ammunition, is a general title for ammunition of various types which may be used in circumstances of civil disturbance to disperse riots or to incapacitate individual rioters, or in hostage rescue or other police operations. It is designed to minimise the risk of death or serious injuries when used as intended. It is important to stress this latter point, as any of these rounds can inflict severe injuries or result in a fatality if used improperly, which is why weapons and ammunition of this type are now known as 'less-lethal' (L-L) rather than 'non-lethal'."

We should not be fooled by the innocence of using "rubber bullets" implied in the corporate media reports that we read. - LMB

Following the attacks on protesters in Anaheim, the police then shone bright lights into surrounding buildings in an attempt to block potential camera footage and even tried to buy videos of their crimes from citizens who recorded them. Madison Ruppert, Editor of End the Lie wrote,

"Usually, we see people get arrested, brutally beaten, or labeled “professional agitators” for legally filming police activities. Trying to actually buy the video from the witnesses is, at least in my opinion, a novel tactic in the ongoing war on accountability."

There is ample video-taped evidence of these police attacks and attempted coverups, taken by citizens and reported on YouTube and by RT News (below). But first, allow us to provide an example of a typical corporate media report on these killings, this one by KrisTV. First they create "set and setting," based on their interviews with the police.

" 'There just seems to be a lot more violence between the gangs. As a result, we've increased our gang unit, which has increased our contact with gang members,' he said."

"Anaheim is a city of contrasts that ranges from upscale, hilltop homes to packed, gritty apartment complexes. The city 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles is known as home to the Angels baseball team, and above all, to world-famous Disneyland."

So those killed by police were "gang members" from "packed, gritty apartment complexes."

Then regarding the killing of Manuel Diaz:

" 'It concerns me when we have any officer-involved shooting,' said Police Chief John Welter, adding that he believes an uptick in gang-related crime in the last eight to 10 months is driving the increase."

The corporate news quotes police reports saying that Manuel Diaz was "a known member," that he was "suspected of auto theft," that "He failed to heed police orders to stop and threw something on the roof of the complex that contained what officers believe to be heroin," and that he was "acting suspiciously."

Likewise, the corporate media supported police justifications for their killing of Avecedo after he was handcuffed:

"The second officer-involved shooting occurred Sunday when anti-gang officers spotted a suspected gang member in a stolen sport utility vehicle. A brief pursuit ended when three people jumped from the SUV and ran, authorities said. During the chase, a suspect fired one or two rounds at an officer. The officer returned fire, killing the gunman, who was identified as 21-year-old Joel Mathew Acevedo, Dunn said."

Then the corporate media reports the attacks on the unarmed protestors this way, again based on statements by the police:

"The death sparked three nights of protests. On Saturday, angry demonstrators hurled rocks and bottles at officers who were securing the scene for investigators, and police responded by firing bean bags and pepper balls at the crowd.

"The next morning, protesters swarmed police headquarters where the Welter held a news conference. Later that night, demonstrators set fire to a trash bin and pushed it into the street outside the apartment complex, which was still strewn with litter from the unrest."

Numerous government/corporate media reports similar to this one appear when searching for information regarding these events.The following headlines are offered as more examples of media complicity in murder and coverup:

We are compelled to compare these state murders and attacks on US citizens with the murders and attacks on protestors in Syria, so loudly and constantly decried by the imperialist media. In the United States the attacks are clearly executed by the police, backed by the regime in Washington with the complicity of their mass media. The same corporate media blames the Syrian government for the mass killings in that country. But the facts which have been investigated, confirmed and reported repeatedly on Axis of Logic and many other people's media reveal that the attacks and killings in Syria have been instigated by the governments in North America and Europe and are carried out by their terrorists-for-hire in similar fashion as in the war and occupation of Libya.

*Fact Checking: We initially reported that there were 7 (seven) people shot and 5 (five) killed by Anaheim police already in the first 7 months of 2012. Our source later redacted that number from their story. Reuters reports that the Anaheim police have killed 5 people this year. Activist Theresa Smith whose son was shot and killed by Anaheim police in 2009 and who has now worked with families since then, demanding police accountability, says there have been 8 (eight) "officer involved shootings" thus far this year. The Orange County District Attorney's Office says there have been 6 (six) "officer related shootings" and five of them were fatal. We have no idea what the difference is between an "officer related shooting" and people shot by the police unless "officer related shootings" include cops shooting themselves or other cops. But 6, 7 or 8 in 7 months amount to Anaheim cops shooting people at a rate of about one a month, with 5 confirmed dead! Sounds like a war.

The following reports and videos provide evidence of the growing police state in the US with a license to suppress dissent and to kill.

- Les Blough, Editor

Anaheim police provoke riots after killing a man and attacking women and children

Copsacross California have been caught time and time again lately acting in ways unfit for law enforcement officers. On Saturday, cops in Anaheim, California shot and killed an unarmed man, prompting citizens to wage a protest: in response, officers responded violently once again. The CCTV camera video shows witnesses being shot at by police Scott Shackford of Reason joins RT's Kristine Frazao to talk more. (Ed. Note: Kristine Fazao does a good job of pinning down Scott Shackford's oblique comments on police culpability - LMB)

and a corporate TV report with some coverage overlap ...

USA Cops out of control - Opening fire on moms & kids in Anaheim - NWO

Police brutality story heats up: Anaheim PD faces evidence-buying claims

Witnesses to the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in Anaheim, California say officers offered to buy up cell phone footage of the brutality that followed. The circumstances of the shooting are currently under investigation.
A few hours after shooting 24-year-old Manuel Diaz as he ran from police at around 4pm Saturday, officers unleashed rubber bullets and an attack dog on a crowd of witnesses – most of them women and children – who confronted police over the incident as they gathered evidence.

Diaz later died in hospital. Officials have yet to comment on what may have caused one of the officers to open fire.

The incident has resonated through the community, with demonstrations Sunday outside – and briefly inside – the Anaheim Police headquarters, as Police Chief John Welter prepared for a press-only news conference regarding the assault.

Demonstrators chanted "no justice, no peace" and "cops, pigs, murderers" as officers stood by.

And now that the story has gained national attention, the Anaheim PD claims the crowd of witnesses became unruly following the shooting, alleging that they set a fire at an intersection in the neighborhood, while others threw bottles and rocks at officers.

However, a news video posted to YouTube shows local CBS affiliate footage of what appears to be police storming a block filled mostly with women and children, many of them sitting in lawn chairs – with no fire in sight.

Local CBS reporter Jay Jackson confirms in the report that by shortly before 10pm Saturday, there was in fact a dumpster fire in the neighborhood after local residents formed a small protest, demanding answers from police. The Associated Press also now reports that dumpster fires were started on at least three occasions.

In the YouTube video, police are clearly seen firing rubber bullets on a crowd of horrified women and children. Shortly thereafter a German Shepherd enters view, attacking a woman and her child and then a man sitting next to them.

Towards the end of the video, Jackson says that "at least four" people present during the fracas told him that officers on the scene offered to "buy" cell phone video footage of the incident from witnesses.

Anaheim police officials are refraining from commenting on the circumstances of the attack or its aftermath, as the incident is still under investigation.
The officer who shot Diaz has been put on desk duty.

And videos of the protests ...

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