Large-scale protests break out in Anaheim after two Latio men were shot, capping off many years of tension between the two disparate populations of Anaheim.
The deaths of two men who were killed in officer-involved shootings in the city of Anaheim, California are sparking nation-wide protests over police brutality toward Latino men.
The LA Times tells the history of the class divide that exists just next door to Disneyland’s “Happiest Place on Earth”:
The shootings of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, and Joel Acevedo, 21, have laid bare the economic divide between the city’s pockets of glitz and affluence and the less-prosperous Latino neighborhoods, where residents have voiced outrage over police conduct.
That anger has struck a chord from from Oakland to New York, where solidarity protests are planned for Friday and into the weekend. The events are being organized on Facebook and Twitter. Activists are sharing posters for the actions and information on topics including defending against tear gas.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune elaborates upon the protests that have been rocking Anaheim since the killings of the two men, and building on top of a long history of the two widely variant demographics leave “a large segment of the population feeling like second-class citizens.”
Two fatal police shootings last weekend – one of an unarmed man police say was a known gang member- roiled the city and exposed its divisions. Demonstrators took to the streets four nights in a row.
Tuesday’s was the largest and most violent protest, with some of the nearly 600 demonstrators hurling rocks and bottles at police, who made two dozen arrests. About 20 businesses were damaged.
…The city, about 90 percent white in 1970, now has a population that is 53 percent Hispanic.
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city, alleging that Anaheim’s at-large elections have weakened Latinos’ voting power. The suit claims only three councilmembers in the city’s history have been Hispanic. Most of the City Council currently hails from the city’s upscale neighborhoods to the east.
“So much attention has been paid to building up the resort district and somehow those resources would trickle down to the rest of the city and we’re just not seeing it,” said Jose Moreno, president of Los Amigos of Orange County and a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “A lot of us are saying enough is enough and this police shooting is really just emblematic of something more systemic in the politics of the city.”
The mother of one of them who who was shot, however, condemns the violent protests in her son’s name. The Washington Post quotes grief-stricken mother, Genevieve Huizar:
“I watched as my son took his last breath. I watched as his heart stopped beating for the last time,” Genevieve Huizar said, breaking into sobs. “Please, please, please stop the violence. It’s not going to bring my son back, and this is the worst thing any mother could go through.”
What do you think of the nationwide show of solidarity for Anaheim’s Latino population?
How do you think racial and socioeconomic tensions can best be healed when the community believes police brutality is an issue?
Will you attend any of the protests this weekend? What can be done to keep more blood from being shed?
Lead photo of Genevieve Huizar: AP/Damian Dovarganes