Remember the notorious incident last July that took place on Anaheim’s gang-ridden Anna Drive when Anaheim police jousted with residents in the wake of the shooting of fleeing gang member Manuel Diaz?
As if we could forget.
Well, eight residents of Anna Drive have filed claims against Anaheim citing, according to the OC Register, “physical injuries, emotional trauma, violations of constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure and other damages.”
The claimants want the city to cut them each a check for $500,000. For those not doing the math, that is $4 million tax dollars. There goes the Neighborhood Improvement Fund (what percentage of annual TOT revenue is $4 million?)!
This isn’t surprising. After all, we live in a litigious society, and suing the police is a cottage industry. The Anna Drive incident represents an opportunity for some to cash in and get out of Anna Drive, and with sympathetic media coverage to boot.
Yes, I am commenting on the claims on after seeing only the spare description in the OC Register article. At the same time, let us recall that when police arrived in force following the shooting in order to secure the crime scene — and remember that what prompted the initial police intervention was a gang-conducted sale of illegal guns — a number of residents responded by bringing their young children and babies out to watch the fun. Not exactly behavior you would find in a handbook on responsible parenting.
Then there was the throwing of rocks and bottles at police.
The attorney representing the claimants claims her clients were not among the misbehavers. I don’t know whether that is true. It may be. What is clear to me is the police were operating in a confusing, chaotic and dangerous situation made more confusing, chaotic and dangerous by the bellicosity of a number of Anna Drive residents.
In my opinion, the police were trying to do their job, which is protecting the lives, liberty and property of Anaheim residents – including those of Anna Drive, which is beset by criminal gangs. These claims are more properly lodged against the gangs terrorizing Anna Drive, but the reality is gang members’ response would – unlike the city’s — would be lethal.
That is the reality we should bear in mind as this claim-soon-to-be-lawsuit moves along.