The president of the Anaheim Police Association (APA) has issued a statement in support of Wednesday's announcement by the Orange County District Attorney that there will be no criminal charges against an officer who shot and killed an unarmed gang member in July 2012.
"We are very pleased that our officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the District Attorney's office in the Manuel Diaz shooting," APA President Kerry Condon said in a press statement. "This investigation reveals the true difficulty and danger that our police officers face every day in our gang and crime-ridden neighborhoods, and the fact that Manuel 'Stomper' Diaz was a violent gang member."
Condon noted that the APA, which represents 600 active and retired Anaheim police officers, predicted shortly after the shooting that "independent investigations" would "show no wrongdoing" by officers.
He also said that despite receiving death threats in gang dominated neighborhoods, officers "continue to go into these areas to fight gang crime and protect the residents who continue to live in fear of these domestic terrorists."
A flurry of Anaheim police killings of gang members in recent years sparked emotional public protests that brought national media focus to an area best known as home to the world's greatest public amusement park.
Tony Rackauckas' DA office routinely investigates officer-involved shootings to determine if charges are warranted.
Diaz's mother, who has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, has mocked Rackauckas' findings in the case.
Diaz was shot in the back of the head and in the buttocks by pursuing officer Nick Bennallack.
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts