Police dressed in riot gear clashed with protesters in Anaheim Calif., again Tuesday night, arresting 20 people, as city officials announced they had asked for a federal probe into several fatal officer-involved shootings.
“Shame on you,” crowds of demonstrators shouted at police lined up outside Anaheim’s City Hall.
More than 200 people attended the rally, with some setting fires in trash cans and smashing the windows of at least six businesses, including an empty Starbuck’s.
Police fired bean bags and pepper balls to try and disperse the crowds. It was the second time in a week that Anaheim police have clashed with protesters upset over a string of fatal police shootings in the area.
The demonstrations started Saturday, after police shot dead a man they described as a known gang member holding a “concealed object.”
After the shooting, the victim, Manuel Diaz, was found to be unarmed, police said.
A day later, police shot and killed another man they said opened fire on officers after fleeing when they tried to stop his car. That man was also described as a gang member by police.
It was the sixth officer-involved shooting in Anaheim this year.
"The community is scared and angry . . . We don't want violence, we just want those people (in City Hall) to know things need to change,” protest organizer Joanne Sosa told The Orange County Register.
City leaders have asked the state Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate.
Anaheim’s police union backed its officers, saying those protesting the incidents “don’t know the facts.”
“I see a lot of outside groups coming into Anaheim that are making issues of our officer-involved shootings for their own political agenda," said Kerry Condon, president of the Anaheim Police Union.
The FBI said this week it is reviewing whether a civil-rights investigation is warranted after the two most recent shootings, spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told The Register.