Mother of slain Anaheim man Manuel Diaz calls for end to violence

Genevieve Huizar

Ed Joyce/KPCC

The mother of Manuel Diaz, shot to death by Anaheim police, condemned the violence which has erupted during protests against the killing.

The mother of a man who was shot to death by Anaheim police has condemned violence which has erupted during protests against the killing.

The family has also filed state and federal lawsuits over the death of Manuel Diaz.

Genevieve Huizar pleaded Wednesday for a stop to the violence and says she does not want that to be her son's legacy.

"It won't bring back my son,” she said at a news conference at the Santa Ana Superior Courthouse. “I want the two Anaheim police officers arrested for the execution of my son."

Diaz's family has sued the City of Anaheim, the Anaheim Police Department, Anaheim Police Chief John Welter and two Anaheim police officers (as yet unidentified by police or the city) for $50 million.

The U.S. Attorney's Office will also review the killing of Diaz and another man killed the following day, July 22.

The attorney representing Huizar said Manuel Diaz was not armed with a gun when shot by Anaheim police officers July 21.

"[The lawsuit's] about peace and justice for family of Manuel Diaz,” said Orange attorney Dana Douglas. “He was killed execution style. The family is not anti-police, they're pro-police, but anti-bad police and bad police departments.”

Douglas also addressed civil rights issues at the news conference.

“In Anaheim, brown-skinned men standing around talking is considered suspicious activity,” said Douglas.

The lawsuit claims that “Manuel Diaz was unarmed, had committed no crime and was not a threat to the safety of Defendants or others.”

The complaint for damages alleges that “Defendant officers unnecessarily and unjustifiably shot Manuel Diaz in his leg and then in the back of his head causing his death. This conduct was intentional, reckless and in violation of Manuel Diaz’s Constitutional rights.”

“The money has nothing to do with it — I want justice for my son, I want those officers arrested,” said Huizar, mother of Manuel Diaz. “He loved to dance, he loved his sisters, he loved me," she said, breaking down in tears.

The Anaheim Police Department has not publicly commented on the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Diaz.

Anaheim police said as many as 1,000 people surged through downtown Anaheim on Tuesday night as they demonstrated over the police shootings.

Police Chief John Welter said 24 people were arrested and 20 of those are Anaheim residents.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said he will meet Friday with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office about investigating the shootings.

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