Angry protesters gathered outside the police headquarters in Anaheim in order to protest the recent police shootings in the area. Among the family members of those killed was 65-year-old T.S. She lost her 35-year-old son in 2009 after he was shot dead by the Anaheim police. On July 29th 2012, M.D. was fatally shot while he was attempting to avoid arrest, even though he was unarmed. Only the next day, J.A. was shot and killed after firing at the police officers during a chase on foot. Not only did friends and family members hold a vigil for the two men, but demonstrators took the streets to protest these deaths.
Among the 350 protesters which showed up on Sunday to protest were members of the Occupy Orange County Movement as well as members of Kelly's Army (which was formed after the beating and death of Kelly Thomas by police in Fullerton). The crowds chanted and drew chalk outlines of bodies in the parking lot of the station. When the crowd began to march on Harbor Boulevard, saying that they were heading towards Disneyland, riot police stepped in to control them and many returned to the police headquarters. In all, nine protesters were arrested.
Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Americans have the right to assemble and protest. Unfortunately, this civil right can often come under attack. When a protest comes into conflict with the law, this is when arrests can take place. When violence breaks out, such as assault on a peace officer, the protest could become a mass arrest. Under California Penal Code §§403-420.1 (2011), a protest could be considered a riot if any force or violence or disturbing the public peace took place. If you were arrested in connection with a recent protest or riot in the Los Angeles area, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of professionals at Martinian & Associates Inc.