A day after an off-duty Los Angeles police officer fired his gun during a confrontation with a group of teenagers in Anaheim, videos purportedly showing the encounter spread online, prompting questions about the officer’s actions.
No one was injured by the gunfire, but the footage — posted on YouTube and Facebook — sparked a flurry of phone calls and emails to Anaheim police, who are investigating the officer’s actions.
On Wednesday night, about 300 demonstrators took to the streets of Anaheim to protest the case. The marchers began in the west Anaheim neighborhood where the shooting occurred and eventually moved into major streets.
Demonstrators lined the block in Anaheim shouting “no justice no peace,” as police blocked the intersection The group took over several lanes of Euclid Avenue, at times blocking intersections.
Some threw rocks, cursed at police officers and kicked police cars. Others tried to protest at the house of the off-duty LAPD officer, which was nearby.
Many of the protesters were young people who had seen the video on their social media feeds and wanted to do something. Jocelyne Gutierrez, 21, and her friend Karla Zuniga, 20, decided to join the protest at around 9 p.m. Gutierrez said she saw herself in the boy in the video.
“It could have been me, my friend or someone from my family,” she said.
At around 11 p.m., police advanced toward the protesters, trying to get them to leave. About 24 people were arrested, police said. According to initial reports, they included 10 men, eight women, three male juveniles and three female juveniles. The detainees face misdemeanor counts of failing to disperse, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer.
Two videos, taken by witnesses and posted online show the officer grab a 13-year-old boy on a lawn. A group of young people, most wearing backpacks, stood nearby.
“Shut the … up,” the officer said. “You weren’t even there.”
A single gunshot can be heard about three seconds later.
Read the whole story in the LA Times