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    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook on Amazon

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A thought on the Anaheim Police shooting…

So, the police and the politicians in Anaheim are claiming that they need time to do an investigation of the shooting deaths. That is a usual government-powers trick, where the whole incident could fade away, until people don’t remember, or have less chance at justice.

But, if they can’t really respond, or tell what happened, because there is an investigation, why should they have the right to tell people that the unarmed man killed on Saturday, and the possibly armed man killed on Sunday, are gang members? Information is information. If you have to withhold some of it, then also shut your mouth about the part that dishonors the dead, and confuses the issues of justice.

But, if you are going to tell us that the man killed is a known gang member, then also tell the press the names of the police officers, and any disciplinary action ever taken against them.

I will be writing more thoughtful stuff about this shortly. But, I just have to say, because it is keeping me awake: Are the Anaheim Police kidding? I have seen some of their recent rhetoric. It appears that they think it is a good thing to have an anti-gang unit that goes into communities and tries to flush out gang members, like they were animals to be hunted. A neighborhood is not a place to play a high stakes game of cat and mouse, where the end result is executing unarmed people on a lawn, in a busy neighborhood, in a bloody, extra-judicial execution. That is not a good plan. Though, by what the Anaheim Police seem to be saying and bragging about their anti-gang unit, I believe that is their main strategy.

Below is an example of one of the more delicate things that the Anaheim Police have said, that still shows that they are descending upon neighbor to root out violent criminals in the streets.

Anaheim Police Department spokesman Sgt. Robert Dunn said…

“We’ve had increased gang activity in that neighborhood and citywide we have had increased gang activity, including gang on gang and others,” said Dunn. “We have begun to pull more firearms off gang members in our contacts with them in the city.” [Report from 89.3 KPCC Radio]

Do the Anaheim Police know there are better ways to fight gangs? For example: Youth programs to give young people alternate ways to spend time and build identities; Improve and ease the ability of schools to register students, so less young people are roaming the streets; Use education to get the community to discourage gangs; Gun buy-back programs to get firearms off the streets.
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Background story:

As reported at Democracy Now!: “Police in the California city of Anaheim are facing allegations of murder and brutality after fatally shooting two Latino men over the weekend and firing rubber bullets at crowds of protesters.”

The 25-year-old man, shot early in the day, Manuel Diaz, was unarmed. Then, the police attacked men, women, children, and babies who were protesting the shooting. And, later, Anaheim police shot another man, Joel Acevedo, to death, in another incident.

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