Judge considers if Anaheim police should hand over documents in Diaz lawsuit

Anaheim Residents Protest Police Shootings Over Weekend

Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24: Protesters clash with police at Anaheim City Hall to show their outrage for the shooting death of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, on July 24, 2012 in Anaheim, California. Diaz was fatally shot July 21 by an Anaheim police officer and has sparked days of protests by the angered community. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)

The lawyer for the family of a 25-year-old fatally shot by Anaheim police last summer is asking police to hand over documents in the case, and a federal judge will consider the matter today in Anaheim.

Manuel Diaz was shot to death in July by officer Nick Bennallack, sparking weeks of protests.
His family filed a $50 million dollar lawsuit that names Bennallack, the city of Anaheim, and police chief John Welter as defendants.
The family’s lawyer, Dana Douglas, argues she’s been put at a disadvantage without the police documents.
The city contends handing over the files in the civil case now could jeopardize the District Attorney’s criminal inquiry.
“The DA hasn’t finished their investigation,” said Moses Jackson, Anaheim’s assistant city attorney. “We don’t want to do any discovery in the civil case until the criminal investigation is finished. It won’t be that long until it’s finished, so it shouldn’t be an issue.”  

Douglas disagrees. She argues the release of information in the civil case won’t affect the criminal investigation.
She also say it’s unlikely any Anaheim officers will be charged, because the Orange District District Attorney rarely prosecutes police officers.


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