Unruly protests broke out across Anaheim after a video of an off-duty California police officer firing his gun during a struggle with a teenage boy and his friends went viral.
The officer got into the confrontation because he because he didn’t want teens walking across his lawn.
WARNING: Video may contain sensitive content.
No one was hurt during the struggle but two boys were arrested.
Hundreds of people protested in Anaheim late Wednesday after the video surfaced online. Some protesters were peaceful while others blocked traffic and vandalized the officer’s home and threw items at police.
Police arrested 24 people, including children, after the crowd refused to disperse.
The altercation escalated due to reoccurring instances of the group walking across the man’s property after being told not to, a police statement said.
The 13-year-old who the officer grabbed thought the officer yelled a profanity at a little girl who had walked across his lawn.
“The little kid said, ‘I’m going to sue you,’ and then the guy thought he said, ‘I’m going to shoot you.’ That’s when he started grabbing the little kid,” Gregory Perez, 16, part of a larger group of young people walking in the area, told the newspaper.
The officer began struggling with the boy and that’s when things escalated. Another teen rushed the officer while he was scuffling with the 13-year-old.
Eventually, a teen took a swing at the officer, causing him to pull his weapon and fire a shot.
Witnesses say the officer wasn’t aiming at anyone with the gun, Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt told radio station KNX-AM.
Upon their arrival, police took the off-duty officer to be interviewed. The 13-year-old was handcuffed and taken in on suspicion of making a criminal threat and battery.
A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery and later released, police said.
The ACLU released a statement:
Read the full statement here.
The involved officer has been placed on administrative leave.
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