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Police "restoring order" in Anaheim After Tense Night of Unrest, Arrests

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Tensions between local law enforcement and residents upset about the recent fatal officer-involved shootings in Anaheim escalated last night, and this morning police say they are "restoring order" in the area.Reports of those arrested range from "more than 20" according to City News Service and the OC Register to 24, according to the L.A. Times. At least five people were reported injured.

The episode began to unfold Tuesday at around 5 p.m. as hundreds gathered outside City Hall where the Anaheim City Council meeting was taking place. Up for a vote was the issue of asking federal authorities to investigate the controversial officer-involved shootings. With chambers at capacity, police turned away people hoping to get inside City Hall, and a crowd assembled in the streets.

From the Register:

A half-dozen officers blocked City Hall's entrance, while the crowd gathered around and hurled obscenities. As the crowd pressed closer, officers with helmets and batons came out the front door and pushed the protesters back, angering them.
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The group opted to take to the streets, marching in protest. For the next few hours they were met with resistance by police, though some of the protesters engaged in aggressive behavior, including setting fires, smashing windows of cars and businesses, and throwing rocks and other projectiles at officers.

"Earlier in the evening, four or five men were seen filling 1-gallon glass bottles with gasoline and placing rags in them at an Arco Station at Anaheim Boulevard and Broadway, said Jon Dunton, a legal representative for the business," notes the Register. The police ordered the pumps shut down.

The OC Weekly had contributors on the scene, and compiled a slideshow of the images they shared via social media.

Anaheim Police went on tactical alert; ultimately 250 officers were on scene, and the protesters were numbered at an estimated 600.

The injuries included two print reporters who were struck by rocks thrown by protesters, one person hurt in a fight among protesters, one person struck in the head by a pepper ball fired by cops, and a police officer who had a minor arm injury.

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At around 10:30 p.m. much of the crowd had dispersed, according to reports, though some "pockets of unrest" were still flaring up around town.

From the Register:

"The community is scared and angry," said Joanne Sosa, who helped organize Tuesday's protest. "We don't want violence, we just want those people (in City Hall) to know things need to change."