Approximately 500 protesters, majority Latino, were showered in police beanbags, rubber bullets and pepper balls last night outside Anaheim City Hall as they rioted over two recent officer-involved shootings in the Orange County town. (And the fight wasn't one-sided: Protesters reportedly hurtled bottles, rocks and traffic cones right back in the face of riot police.)
But you know the police response has waxed indiscriminate when two journalists walking along the sidewalk, just doing their job, come under fire:
Amber Lyon, a former CNN correspondent who was reporting for L.A. radio station KPFK last night, and Tim Pool, another L.A.-based freelancer best known for his extensive coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests, can be seen fleeing from a round of non-lethal bullets in a video that Pool posted to YouTube this morning.
Pool writes beneath the video that "Neither Tim nor Amber were hurt. Amber was pinned between two trucks and Tim was fired at multiple times after this video but is unscathed."
Another L.A. reporter who says he narrowly avoided a big red pepper-ball bruise?
KFI radio's own Steven Gregory. He Tweeted the photo to the left at around 9:30 p.m., writing: "Pepper spray ball shot at me and 2 KFI staffers".
Police tried to turn the story around in a Los Angeles Times blog post this morning, informing the paper that a rock thrown by protesters had struck a reporter from the Orange County Register.
Guess that's what a journalist gets for entering the war zone that is Anaheim right now.
There has been violence on both sides, but we will say this: The police protests began very peacefully over the weekend. It was only once Anaheim cops (and other cops called in from surrounding cities) starting blasting groups of women and children with rubber bullets and sicking police dogs on them that all bets were called off.
Here are some insane photos that Lyon posted to her Twitter feed last night -- making all the bullet-dodging worth it, we'd say.
Head over to the OC Weekly's Anaheim police shooting archives for more.