Manuel Diaz Shooting: Case Closed?

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait met with representatives from the United States Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation last summer regarding the incidents of July 21, 2012. Now that the Orange County District Attorney's office has completed and released its investigative letter clearing Anaheim policeman Nick Bennallack in the fatal shooting death of 25 year-old Manuel Diaz, will there be any outside investigation?

“In July I asked the federal government through the U.S. Attorney's
office to review this matter,” Mayor Tait said when asked for comment. “It is my understanding that the Department of
Justice will conduct an independent review of the OCDA report.”


As there has been confusion, however, it is important not to take the word
'review' as meaning that an active investigation is currently taking
place or will even occur.

“We do not have an investigation open into this matter,” Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles emphasizes. “The District Attorney's report will be reviewed,” she adds in relation to the Diaz case.

Mayor Tait also reached out to State Attorney General Kamala Harris as did national Latino advocacy group,
when it presented thousands of online signatures demanding her office's
involvement. “We are advised that the Orange County District Attorney's
office is conducting a thorough examination into all of these
incidents. Once that review is completed we can best evaluate what if
any involvement by this office is appropriate,” Press Secretary Lynda
Gledhill told the Weekly back in August.

“The office has no comment on this matter,” she now says after the release of the OCDA's report on Diaz this week.

Back at the federal level, if the FBI were to find that an allegation of a civil rights violation warranted an investigation, the inquiry would be a criminal one with the possibility of charges being brought forth.

The agency was quick to confirm such an investigation with regards to the 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas in Fullerton by police. “We opened a case immediately,” Eimiller states. News agencies reported as much long before the District Attorney's office ever brought about criminal charges against three of the officers involved. “At this time, we haven't filed federal charges,” she adds.

Where it concerns Anaheim and Manuel Diaz, as the Mayor and the FBI both state, an independent review is forthcoming. If any civil rights allegations have been reported since last summer, though, they clearly haven't resulted in any action.

If based upon the OCDA report itself, it's highly unlikely that an investigation by the federal agency would ensue, much less charges.

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