Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.
Police firing chemical agent at rioters in Anaheim last night.
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Last night's riots, which erupted around Anaheim Boulevard and Broadway, saw protesters, enraged by the recent police-involved shootings of two residents, smashing windows, setting structural fires and throwing bottles and other objects at cops. The incident kicked off after more than a hundred protesters attempted to enter last night's city council meeting and were turned away by police in riot gear.
Tensions simmered as the group gathered in the intersection nearby. According to protester Phil Edwards
, people surrounded officers near the building at 290 Anaheim Blvd.
after witnessing police chasing some in the crowd.
"Within 15 minutes 150 cops from six different cities showed up," Edwards said.
Police drive through the angry crowd at the intersection of Broadway and South Anaheim Boulevard just before a riot erupts.
Indeed, officers representing agencies from Seal Beach to the Orange County Sheriff's Department were on scene when some in the crowd began throwing plastic bottles and other objects. At one point, a large procession of police vehicles drove through the intersection and was kicked and spat at. One man in an Indianapolis Colts jersey was arrested and quickly whisked away.
Just before 9 p.m., and after giving several orders to disperse, officers armed with paint ball-type guns began firing a chemical agent into the crowd. Bottles and rocks could be heard landing on nearby police cars as police moved outward from the intersection. On nearby Claudina Street, a group of rioters set fire to a parking lot dumpster. After one man raised concern for nearby houses, the flaming dumpster was rolled into the street.
Weekly photographer Meranda Carter arrived at the shopping center located at Lincoln Avenue and Anaheim Boulevard at around 9 p.m. where she observed several individuals running through the complex smashing windows with skateboards and rocks and tipping over a large water vending machine.
Further south, a structure near the Sunkist Packing house was set ablaze, but quickly extinguished by Anaheim firefighters. By midnight, as things began to quiet down, police responded to the shopping center on Lincoln. There, a small group of people continued to yell insults at police. One young woman, identified by some in the crowd as a resident of Anna Street, where 25-year old unarmed man Manuel Diaz was shot last Saturday by police, began walking up and down the line angrily shouting insults at officers inches from their faces.
"Fuck the Anaheim police," she screamed. "You guys going to shoot again like you shot last time?" At one point she turned away from officers and defied them to shoot her in the back. Police gave her an order to disperse then were seen chasing her through the parking lot before tackling her under a tree and putting her in a car. At least two others were arrested in the confrontation.
After a large group of officers, including Los Angeles County Sheriffs Deputies, swept through the parking lot, the situation appeared to be calming--though it's hard to imagine the level of anger that gave rise to the unrest has diminished.
One man, 35-year-old Anaheim resident Edgar Ibirra who was seen yelling at officers before the riot summed up his feelings to the Weekly.
"These guys are corrupted to the max. It's coming from Fullerton to here and they're being protected by the District Attorney. They put money into investigations that are being controlled," Ibirra said. "There' a distance between the Anaheim police department and the citizens," he added. "It's going to get a lot worse."
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