Crime & Justice

Jury: Anaheim police officer did not use excessive force in fatal shooting

Genevieve Huizar, the mother of Manuel Diaz, at a news conference at the Orange County Superior Court in 2012. An Anaheim police officer was cleared by the Orange County DA in the fatal shooting of Diaz in 2013. In a civil lawsuit, a jury Thursday found the officer did not use excessive force in the shooting of Diaz, who was unarmed.
Genevieve Huizar, the mother of Manuel Diaz, at a news conference at the Orange County Superior Court in 2012. An Anaheim police officer was cleared by the Orange County DA in the fatal shooting of Diaz in 2013. In a civil lawsuit, a jury Thursday found the officer did not use excessive force in the shooting of Diaz, who was unarmed.
Ed Joyce/KPCC
Genevieve Huizar, the mother of Manuel Diaz, at a news conference at the Orange County Superior Court in 2012. An Anaheim police officer was cleared by the Orange County DA in the fatal shooting of Diaz in 2013. In a civil lawsuit, a jury Thursday found the officer did not use excessive force in the shooting of Diaz, who was unarmed.
Genevieve Huizar, mother of Manuel Diaz, waits to speak at the Anaheim City Council meeting on August 8, 2012. After an unarmed Diaz was killed by Anaheim police in July, the community erupted in protest.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
Genevieve Huizar, the mother of Manuel Diaz, at a news conference at the Orange County Superior Court in 2012. An Anaheim police officer was cleared by the Orange County DA in the fatal shooting of Diaz in 2013. In a civil lawsuit, a jury Thursday found the officer did not use excessive force in the shooting of Diaz, who was unarmed.
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24: A scrimmage line of police officers protect the streets surrounding Anaheim City Hall during a demonstration to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall on July 24, 2012 in Anaheim, California. Diaz was fatally shot on July 21 by an Anaheim police officer and has sparked days of protests by the angered community. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)
Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images


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A federal jury Thursday found an Anaheim police officer did not use excessive force in the fatal shooting of Manuel Diaz, one of two men whose deaths sparked protests in July 2012.

The jury in Santa Ana ruled that the force used against Manuel Diaz, 25, was not excessive or unreasonable.

Diaz was shot by Officer Nick Bennallack outside an Anaheim apartment complex on July 21, 2012. Officers were questioning Diaz, who had a criminal record and was a suspected gang member, when he ran. 

During the chase, officers said they saw Diaz reach for his waistband and throw something. 
No weapon was found on or near Diaz. 

Diaz' mother, Genevieve Huizar, filed a civil suit against Bennallack and the city of Anaheim, seeking damages between $3 million and $5 million. Huizar said she's disappointed but plans to appeal.

The fatal shooting of Diaz and the fatal shooting of Joel Acevedo the next night sparked four days of protests in Anaheim. One disturbance resulted in smashed windows and dozens of arrests.

Bennallack was cleared in the shooting last year by the Orange County District Attorney.