Hundreds of people marched through Anaheim Sunday afternoon to mark the one-year anniversary of a police shooting that led to several days of unrest in Orange County’s most populous city.
Protesters rallied at Anaheim City Hall and marched to police headquarters, where the mothers and family members of men shot by police in Anaheim and other cities took turns speaking. The march was combined with a call to honor Trayvon Martin.
On July 21, 2012, an Anaheim police officer shot and killed Manuel Diaz, who was unarmed. The officer said he believed Diaz had a weapon. Another police shooting followed one day later, leading to several days of protest that at times turned destructive and resulted in dozens of arrests.
Since then, the mothers of Diaz and Joel Acevedo, who was killed in the second shooting, and others have organized several rallies calling for the city to create a citizen’s commission to review allegations of police misconduct.
Investigations by the Orange County District Attorney’s office into the shootings of Diaz and Acevedo have found both were justified.
A police spokesman said the gathering Sunday had been mostly calm as of about 4 p.m.
“So far everything has been as indicated by the organizers, lawful and peaceful,” said Sgt. Bob Dunn, of the Anaheim Police Department. He estimated the number of marchers at about 300; march organizers said it was about 1,000.
“It’s calm, it’s an organized march,” said Doug Kauffman, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition, which describes itself as anti-war and anti-racism.
Dunn said some reports of possible vandalism to police headquarters had not been confirmed.
“Right now we’re going to let them continue with their march,” he said. After rallying at police headquarters, marchers might continue down Harbor Boulevard, Kauffman said, but plans were not confirmed.
Last year, Anaheim police were involved in nine shootings that led to five deaths. So far this year, one incident led police to fire weapons. No one was injured in that case.