Anaheim Suffers 4th Night Of Protest Over Police Shootings

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ANAHEIM, CA. (CNN) - The mayor of Anaheim, California says nobody wants to see another night like last night. Officers clashed with protesters over two police shootings that happened over the weekend -- one involving an unarmed man.

Casey Wian reports.

Protesters in Anaheim, California clashed with police for a fourth day, following two fatal shootings by police of suspected gang members - one on Saturday, one Sunday.
"I'm not trying to justify what happened, I'm just trying to find justice."
One of the dead men, 25-year-old Manuel Diaz, was apparently unarmed.

"If we don't use our voices, if we don't let these people hear our voices, then nothing will be changed."

"It's the people that are supposed to be protecting us; the cops are the ones that's doing this."

Police say officers saw Diaz speaking with occupants of a car in an area known for drug sales.

Recognizing him as a gang member, officers attempted to approach Diaz, who fled the scene. Police say he then reached into his waistband for an unidentified object and turned toward pursuing officers, who opened fire and killed Diaz.

The dead man's mother, who reportedly plans a lawsuit against the city, disputes that, saying he was first shot in the back.

"He was down and they shot him a second time."

Tuesday night, protests turned violent after a crowd of up to 1,000 people were denied entry to a packed city council meeting.

"Some protesters, many who we believe were not from our city, chose to take advantage of this evening of dialog to try to create chaos in our downtown neighborhoods. They chose violence and vandalism over respectful communications."

Police responded with pepper balls and beanbags, reporting 24 arrests and a handful of minor injuries.

"We are continuing to examine various videos that were taken by many individuals in order to identify specific lawbreakers in the crowd. We'll continue to make arrests whenever possible. And those arrested will be prosecuted."

Police say they are prepared if more protests erupt. The orange county district attorney, as well as state and federal authorities, are investigating the shooting.

Anaheim, unlike many neighboring cities in Orange County, has seen a spike in gang-related crime during the past two years.

The city has hired additional gang enforcement officers.