ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) – Scores of protesters clashed with police in the streets of Anaheim Wednesday night as they called for the arrest of an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who was caught on video firing his gun during a confrontation with teens outside his Anaheim home Tuesday afternoon.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at 7 p.m. near Disneyland, bringing traffic to a standstill in the busy area for hours. Anaheim police advised the public to avoid the area as officers with riot gear were deployed. What initially began as peaceful protests eventually gave way to violence, as protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers. At one point, one man shoved two officers and was shot with a less-than-lethal beanbag.
The protesters also threw rocks at the home of the LAPD officer, spray-painted his garage and scratched a pickup truck in the driveway. Some protesters mistakenly tagged another home in the neighborhood, wrongly thinking it belonged to the LAPD officer.
The incident in question occurred at the intersection of Euclid Street and Palais Road at around 2:40 pm. Tuesday when an unidentified officer attempted to detain at least one teen, according to police.
The confrontation began over "ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer's property", according to a statement from the LAPD, which also stated that during the confrontation, a 13-year-old boy allegedly threatened to shoot the off-duty officer, at which time the officer attempted to detain him until Anaheim police arrived on scene.
Upon their arrival, officers contacted the off-duty officer, who admitted to discharging his firearm during an altercation with at least two individuals, police said. Nobody was struck by the gunfire.
"At the end of the day, he should know better," said one woman Wednesday night. "He was taught and trained on how to uphold the law. So why does he get to break the law now?"
Video footage of the incident appeared to show the officer being increasingly threatened by a crowd of teenagers gathered at the scene, including one boy seen in the video throwing a punch at the officer and another who attempted to tackle the officer while his back was turned.
The 13-year-old suspect was booked at Orange County Juvenile Hall for criminal threats and battery, while a 15-year-old boy was arrested for assault and battery and later released to his parents.
The off-duty officer cooperated with the ongoing investigation by Anaheim police and was not be arrested. In a statement Wednesday night, the LAPD said it's Force Investigation Division is conducting its own internal investigation into the actions of the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave.
"The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners to determine whether the use of deadly force complied with LAPD's policies and procedures," the LAPD said.
You can watch cell phone video of the confrontation below. Viewer discretion is advised.
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