Why the Anaheim Police Killings Should be of National Concern
Last month in Anaheim, California a 25-year-old Chicano named Manuel Diaz was mercilessly killed by Anaheim police. The story that was given out was that he (Diaz) was with some other people in an alley. The police were going to question him. He ran and allegedly threatened the police, which caused them to draw their weapons and fire at him. Based on eyewitness reports from people who live in the neighborhood, he was shot in the leg and was trying to give up when the officers went over and shot him in the back of the head. He was unarmed. After he was shot in the back of the head he was subsequently handcuffed and left on the ground as the officers secured (or as I would say covered up) the area. The following day, a 21-year-old named Joel Acevedo was also shot and killed by Anaheim police.
On the day of the Diaz killing, people in the community told the officers that he was still alive and was breathing as he lay on the ground handcuffed. The people in this working class, predominantly Chicano/Mexicano community wanted answers. So when the police went in to "investigate the situation" the people who have grown tired of the ongoing brutality questioned the officers and peacefully protested this murder. The crowd of mothers, fathers, and children who participated in the protest were then fired upon without warning with rubber bullets and shotgun beanbags. There was an instance where the K9 dog was sicked on the people but later called back by his handler. The police said "the dog got away" but the people say he was let loose on purpose. There are many videos online, which I hope readers go to and view actual incidents. Viewers will see the reckless disregard for life as women and children are being shot at and hit with rubber bullets and shotgun bean bags by the police.
As I read about this incident via Twitter(#Anaheim #PoliceState #Brutality) and the videos I watched on YouTube(search Anaheim Police Brutality) it reminded me of a very similar ,if not eerily exact circumstance, of an unarmed Chicano, shot in the back, that happened here in San Jose. The incident I'm referring to was the murder of Rudy Cardenas in February 2004. And just liked as in Anaheim, the mainstream media after the killing then proceeded to dehumanize the victim and talk about alleged "gang affiliation."
This talk of "gang
member", "drug addict/user" is what I have seen the media and
police departments use to make it seem almost ok to murder someone – whether
that be in San Jose in ’04, or Anaheim today. There is no mention of a human
being’s life taken away or the families and communities left behind. Now the
murdered person has no way to tell what happened, and if you believe what the
media tells you, you watch the story, change the channel, and move on to your
What needs to be understood is even after the murder of Rudy Cardenas eight years ago, we still see abuse by the police against the Chicano/Latino community not only all over the state of California, but across the nation. It’s almost as though its ok for the police to murder us (Chicanos/Latinos) then come back and say "oh they ran" or "they are gangbangers." But what about the justice we expect and deserve? Are we less than any other human? This reminds me of the days when slaves were used in this country and were not considered a human being but just an "object" to "own" and discard.
In the Anaheim photos and videos, one can see the military type of gear the police wore for their interactions with the community. I wonder, where did this camouflage and heavy equipment funding come from? Is this "Homeland Security" or "Homeland Oppression"? I remember talk of a military industrial complex, is it now a police industrial complex?
This time there was mainstream local media coverage because a major corporation was being protested against. Some people, myself included, feel that Disneyland, which is located in Anaheim, not only helps fund this sort of violence but turns a blind eye to what's happening. Disneyland does not seem concerned about the lives and community affected as long as they get visitors at the park and pay their way to get in. These incidents of police violence in July of 2012 are not the first of its kind in Anaheim.
Of course to keep people quiet and prevent any type of resistance, the mainstream media has not reported on these incidents, which are relevant to the entire nation, not just Anaheim. I hope to provide further updates as they become available from Anaheim in the next days, weeks, and months.
Until then be watchful of the police in your community, look out for each other and question what is going on instead of going with it. Its only up to US to change the status quo if we don't stand up together murders will keep happening and abuses will continue.
Another deplorable example of brutality in the hands of those who can cover themselves with authority that is not in line with origional American Values! We have a history of some crooked police, lawyers, judges who can wield power over those who are disinfranchised due to poverty or ethenticity. Never Ending Circle of abuse... depending on the current race or culture fitting their M O. Shades of the Civil Rights Movement and Ku Klux Kan. Then we wonder why situations like bullying in schools and mass killings in movie theatres is happening... incidents like this sends out permission for violence to be acceptable OR, encourages retribution and anger as a response to the senseless masacre of a innocent youth with his entire life wiped out on a whim. No wonder gun control is such a popular movement... more assault weapons purchased as we permeate our society with yet more examples of abuse. No doubt this will be all over U Tube to encourage more violence among reactionaries.
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