Anaheim 'Tone Setters' Brace for DA Report, Prepare for Possible Riots

It's been just more than seven months since a weekend of fatal, back-to-back, officer-involved shootings took place in Anaheim, igniting long-simmering tensions between the police and the city's poorer areas. The Orange County district attorney's office is still conducting its investigation into both incidents, but Anaheim city officials and other community members are already making plans for another potential outbreak of riots.

This past Wednesday, a "tone setter" meeting took place at the Downtown Community Center, where attendees discussed several issues surrounding the specter of a repeat of last summer, which saw broken windows, Dumpster fires and mucho shouting. A coalition calling itself Anaheim United for Peace is making contingency plans for as early as the scheduled March 5 meeting of the City Council.

According to documents obtained by the


, the meeting's contact information includes that of city officials and representatives of several organizations including the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, WE are Anaheim/SOMOS Anaheim, and the Department of Justice. At a gathering this past Monday, community members were asked what activities/services the organizations provided to youth and if they could they could extend them during the upcoming March 5 council meeting--the idea, of course, being to keep kids inside and away from any protest. Man,

where's James Brown when you need him


"Goodwill Ambassadors" who would function as community peacekeepers were prepped as to what their role would be. The overarching goal is to maintain peaceful relations to avert violence, with a strict reminder they are not law enforcement.

The notion of "tone setting" was explained as serving as a "conscience for anyone who would do harm or cause disorder to the community."

Standoff on the night of July 24 in Anaheim
Standoff on the night of July 24 in Anaheim
Matt Oliver

Two potential flashpoints were noted in the documents: When the DA report comes out and the first council meeting after the fact. The potential sites of City Hall and the Anaheim Police Department headquarters are familiar from last summer's police protests. Though there are two anticipated investigative letters from 2012 yet to be made public by the DA, this plan of action is probably hinging upon the possibility that the July 21, 2012, officer-involved shooting death of 25 year-old Manuel Diaz might be ruled justified.

"Goodwill Ambassadors" are advised to assess social media ahead of any planned protest activity and carry out "tone setting" in local churches, schools, community organizations and the media ahead of time if such actions are deemed to be potentially contentious.

Those in attendance were instructed to be on standby when the DA report is released. If they're on standby, the Weekly is, too.

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