Residents of Anaheim’s North Anne Drive were still in shock on Saturday after witnessing the killing of 25-year-old Manuel Díaz in broad daylight when police officers attacked the group of about 100 assembled at the shooting site, including several children.
Amateur video featured on KCAL 9 (see above) shows officers firing non-lethal rounds into the crowd, pointing rifles directly at what appeared to be a father protecting his son from the shots. At another point in the video, a K-9 unit is seen attacking a mother attempted to shield her infant child from the dog before biting a man in the arm.
Reports say a water bottle was thrown at officers before the attack on witnesses and protesters took place.
As if the injustice of killing an unarmed man wasn’t enough, Anaheim PD has been busy disparaging Díaz and minimizing the horrific brutality its officers displayed in responding to protesting residents.
Calling Díaz and many of those arrested in the protest “documented gang members” seeks to dehumanize the victims of police brutality, further criminalizing those forced into the role of “bad guy” within California’s massive Prison Industrial Complex.
Anaheim is home to Disneyland, coined “The Happiest Place On Earth.” This is not the case for many of its residents, in particular, those from the city’s Mexican community.
As previously mentioned, several children were in the crowd, including two infants, when Anaheim PD attacked those assembled with rubber bullets and pepper spray.
How can the United States condemn other countries for human rights abuses when this level of policy brutality is happening right in Anaheim, California?
Before the US demands respect for human rights from other countries, it should first right its own wrongs. It’s problem with police brutality is a major one.
In many ways, it’s another example of what happens when a country founded on genocide and slavery fails to recognize these acts as crimes of state and compensate the communities affected by these historical injustices.
The wounds are never healed; the crimes of mass murder, land theft, and forced labor never punished. Thus, the status quo remains, the injustice continues.