On July 24, Joshua Rich was the first demonstrator arrested outside of Anaheim City Hall during a protest against the police shootings of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo. The 37-year-old Anaheim resident was the demonstrator rumored to have a gun during a protest that turned into civil unrest into the night.
Rich told OC Weekly he did not have a gun, and claims he was targeted because of his “biker dude” appearance. According to Orange County Superior Court records, Rich was charged with resisting arrest–and it wasn't the first time Anaheim police had messed with him.
He claims to have been subject to police abuse and harrassment over
several years while living in the city. In 2005, Rich sued the Anaheim Police after
he suffered major injuries after an alleged beating outside of his
home. The encounter did not result in his arrest, and the only other
infraction Rich has in Orange County is a speeding ticket.
During the July 24 protest, Anaheim Police Sergeant Bob Dunn told NBC News a man was booked for resisting arrest after officers received a call that he may have a gun in his waistband, however, no weapons were found. A video on KCAL 9 News captured Rich's arrest, which was right after a crowd started running to the side of City Hall after protesters claimed seeing a police officer pulling out a 9mm handgun. The footage of the arrest can be seen at 35 seconds into the video.
During his encounter with police that led to the aforementioned lawsuit, he suffered a dislocated shoulder, internal stomach bleeding and chipped teeth after the alleged beating took place over several minutes, which he compared to the Kelly Thomas and Rodney King police beatings. He says he was offered a settlement, which he refused as it barely covered his medical expenses. The case ended up going to trial, and the jury ultimately sided with the Anaheim Police.