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Anaheim Erupts: Anti-Police Demonstrators Riot

Chris Vasquez, apparently hit with a police projectile, is quoted as saying, 'They cant do this to us, we should be able to tell them how we feel.'
Chris Vasquez, apparently hit with a police projectile, is quoted as saying, 'They cant do this to us, we should be able to tell them how we feel.'
@Jiraffa / Twitter

After the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots this spring, many Angelenos looked back and marveled at how things have changed for the better and how much farther away from that precipice of chaos we've traveled.

Well, in Orange County, the sense that police are an occupying force in a minority community that sometimes feels oppressed by a mostly white local government has come to a head this week.

What started as clashes, rubber bullets and snarling dogs unleashed on families turned into a full-on riot last night:

After two officer-involved shootings -- one that a family member says involved shooting a man in the back -- Anaheim's mostly working-class, Latino residents took to the streets Tuesday.

(Video purports to show that the first officer-involved shooting involved a man who was already handcuffed).

Trash cans were burned, rocks were thrown, and people tried to get into City Hall unsuccessfully.

The unrest even appeared to get the attention of hacker group Anonymous, which posted a YouTube video and stated:

The world needs to know ANAHEIM before mainstream and government silences it.

According to our City News Service feed, there were two arrests. Cops from all across the O.C., including sheriff's deputies, had to lend a hand as the county's biggest city couldn't handle the uprising on its own.

News video depicted cops from otherwise sedate, ultra-suburban O.C. police forces taking on rare riot duty.

Windows were reportedly smashed, at least one building, described as a construction site, was burned, and Fox 11 News suggested that protesters were trying to take over a nearby gas station in order get the fuel to set more objects ablaze.

Late into the night the clashes continued, and police remained on tactical alert. "Pepper spray balls" seemed to be the weapon of choice for cops seeking to disperse crowds near City Hall.


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Perhaps the most bizarre moment, notes OC Weekly editor-in-chief Gustavo Arellano, was when, 5 minutes from the hottest urban unrest in America, Disneyland set off its nightly fireworks.

Can you say surreal?

Check out our sister paper OC Weekly for all your Anaheim riot news needs.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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