Does Orange County Have A Police Problem?

by evanmcmurry

None of the Anaheim shooting case sounds good. Here’s the police union’s take:

The Anaheim police union issued a statement saying that the officer had fired in self-defense after seeing Diaz, a documented gang member, holding a “concealed object in his front waistband with both hands.” At that point, “the officer opened fire on Diaz to stop the threat,” said Kerry Condon, the union president.

When the police’s defense doesn’t even involve an actual gun, they’re on shaky ground. But the family’s version doesn’t sound particularly plausible either:

But Dana Douglas, an attorney for the Diaz family, said the statement was inaccurate…Instead, she said he was shot in the lower back of his body, brought to his knees and then fired at “execution-style” in the head.

Anybody want to over/under on the chances of that being the actual sequence of events?

I ordinarily can’t get behind community rage over a police shooting, as it always seems like such a displacement of legitimate anger over socio-economic conditions onto a single incident that ends up being indicative of nothing more than the panic that caused it.

But Diaz was the first of two people killed by Anaheim police last week, adding to the city’s larger-than-normal number of police-involved shootings this year (recall also that Riverside had a similar incident earlier this year). The city blames gang violence, which is also getting the blame for growing homicide rates in Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, and more.

Orange County is an extremely affluent area with a burgeoning minority population; if any place is a candidate for the type of simmering racial and class tension that can boil over at any moment, it’s the OC.*

Don’t call it that.