Anaheim’s central venue for its tourism industry, the Disneyland Resort, was mobbed on Tuesday, amongst busy visitors just hours before their “fireworks spectacular.”
Families and supporters of recent police killing victims armed themselves with masks and music as they hit the resort’s “downtown” district with a “flash-mob-style” action. Some of the masked “mobbers” carried rolled pieces of paper to hand out to guests, whom seemed supportive of the melodic rally. As some of these scrolled notes were unrolled, however, some happy faces quickly turned blank as they were struck with a bit of reality. One woman was quick to throw her note on the floor, only for a “justice warrior” to pick it up and continue handing them out.
These notes read:
“In Memory Of
Joel Acevedo - Anaheim PD
Julian Alexander – Anaheim PD
Rigoberto Arceo –Cudahy Sheriff
Hans Kevin Arellano - Santa Ana PD
Javier Arrazola, Jr. - Los Angeles PD
Andres Avila - Pomona PD
Alan Blueford - Oakland PD
Steven Bours - Downey PD
Roscoe Cambridge - Anaheim PD
Marcel Ceja - Anaheim PD
Zachary Champommier - DEA Studio City
Julian Collender - Brea PD
Cesar Cruz - Anaheim PD
Jonathan Cuevas - Lynwood Sheriff
Jose de la Trinidad - Compton Sheriff
Manuel Diaz - Anaheim PD
Ernest Duenez, Jr. - Manteca PD
Tony Francis, Jr. - Lakewood Sheriff
Oscar Grant - San Fransisco BART Police
Jason Hallstrom - Santa Ana PD
Keneth Harding - San Fransisco PD
Bobby Henning, Jr. - Paramount Sheriff
Martin Hernandez - Anaheim PD
Justin Hertl - Anaheim PD
Barry Koenigsberg - Anaheim PD
Andy Lopez - Santa Rosa Sheriff
Michael Nida II - Downey PD
Ignacio Ochoa - Paramount Sheriff
Victor Ortega - San Diego PD
David Raya - Anaheim PD
James Earl Rivera, Jr. - Stockton PD
Adolpho Sanchez - Anaheim PD
David Silva - Bakersfield Sheriff
Kelly Thomas - Fullerton PD
Bernie Villegas - Anaheim PD
Joe Whitehouse - Anaheim PD
Tyler Woods - Long Beach PD
Doug Zerby - Long Beach PD
Tonight we dance in honor of all lives lost at the hands of law enforcement. Together we fight to expose the truth that the media won’t share.
And we demand that the police stop killing our people!! Who made them judge, jury and executioner?!?
Join us before your loved one is killed by an officer!”
The action came to an end with resort security “accompanying” the flash-mob participants out the Downtown Disney district.
The Disneyland resort has been seen by residents and community members as a dominant source for revenue in Anaheim, a city that has been growing as a key location for a growing California movement against police brutality. In July of 2012, Anaheim was witness to a massive uprising that was sparked by two back-to-back fatal police shootings that resulted in the deaths of two young men, 25-year-old Manuel Angel Diaz and 21-year-old Joel Acevedo.
Later that year, supporters from neighboring cities held a demonstration at the Anaheim police department to show support for the affected communities, resounding the message of “We are all Anaheim.” That day, the rally-turned-march was confronted by militarized police as demonstrators tried to reach Anaheim’s “magical” kingdom. Convoys of militarized police, some hanging off the sides of unmarked police vehicles, blocked off the intersection leading to Disney’s theme parks. It was apparent to families and community members what the city’s interests were, and the resort would be a target for future demonstrations.
Since the slayings, officers Nicholas Bennallack and Kelly Phillips, responsible for the deaths of Diaz and Acevedo respectively, have been cleared of any “criminal culpability” by the Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas.
A civil trial against the city of Anaheim is set to take place on January 21st, 18 months to the day that Manuel Angel Diaz was killed by Anaheim officers. The trial will take place at the Santa Ana Federal Court located on the 700 West block of Civic Center Drive in Santa Ana.