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Were Anaheim police too quick to shoot suspects?

Photo by Dave Conner via Flickr Creative Commons

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Two men were shot and killed in separate officer-involved shootings in Anaheim over this past weekend, and area residents are protesting a string of police-involved shootings dating back to 2009.

A group of protesters bombarded the lobby of the Anaheim police station on Sunday afternoon after a man identified as Manuel Diaz died after he was shot by an officer on Saturday evening. The second officer-involved shooting occurred after the protest late Sunday night following a car chase just east of Interstate 5, but little other information has been made public.

The Anaheim police “are not judge, jury and executioner,” Theresa Smith, whose son was fatally shot by Anaheim police in 2009, told the Orange County Register at the protest on Sunday. City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced that Anaheim will commission an independent investigation of these kinds of major police incidents last month “in order to maintain the trust and confidence that our residents have in our police department.”


Are the Anaheim police too quick to shoot suspects? Hindsight is always 20/20, but what, if anything, could the Anaheim police department do differently to avoid unnecessary shooting?


Ed Joyce, KPCC orange county reporter

Jarret Lovell, associate professor of criminal justice at Cal State Fullerton and author of “Good Cop Bad Cop: Mass Media and the Cycle of Police Reform;” he’s been teaching the Kelly Thomas case in his undergraduate courses