Police used beanbag rounds and pepper balls to disperse violent protesters just blocks away from Disneyland Tuesday night, after demonstrators took to the streets of Anaheim, Calif. over recent deadly police shootings.
As many as 500 protesters faced off against 250 police officers in confrontations that ended around 2 a.m., Sgt. Bob Dunn said. Protesters set fires, smashed windows and threw rocks at officers in riot gear, the Los Angeles Times reported. Twenty-four people were arrested.
It was the fourth day of protests and violence after police shot and killed two men in separate incidents over the weekend. Manuel Angel Diaz's family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the city, claiming he was shot after running away from police on Saturday. Police said he failed to heed orders to stop after acting suspiciously with two others in an alley, and that he threw something onto the roof of an apartment complex, believed to be heroin. Joel Mathew Acevedo was killed Sunday after he fired at an officer following a brief pursuit in a stolen vehicle, authorities said.
Police have said both men were known gang members. There have been six shootings by police officers in Anaheim so far this year, up from four a year ago. Five of the incidents have been fatal.
Earlier on Tuesday, city councilmembers voted unanimously to ask the U.S. attorney's office to investigate the recent shootings. Crowds gathered outside City Hall were initially peaceful, but turned violent as their numbers increased and police formed a line to push them back from the building.
As the night progressed, protesters spread through downtown Anaheim, setting fires in trashcans and smashing windows of businesses. A gas station was shut down amid reports that some protesters were seen filling canisters with gas.
Dunn said about five people were hurt, including a police officer and two members of the media who were struck by rocks. Some protesters may have been injured either by police or during a fight between demonstrators, police said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.