23rd Jul 2012 2:38pm | By Sarah Kuranda
Screams and panic erupted on an Anaheim street yesterday after police officers opened fire and released a snarling dog on a crowd of frightened protesters.
Residents of the California city had gathered to protest the police shooting of local man “Stomper,” who had fled from police earlier in the day.
Police pulled out their rifles and fired rubber bullets at close range throughout the unarmed crowd, most of who appear to be women and children. Police claim the crowds had been throwing items at the police when they opened fire.
One of the officers even released a large canine on the crowd, eliciting screams as the dog sunk its teeth into the people in the crowd around it. One man jumped heroically in front of the dog, preventing it from attacking a woman and her child within its reach, as the dog began tearing apart the child’s stroller.
One child was shown being carried off by other young protesters, limp in their arms.
After the event, footage shows large, painful red welts on the backs of the protesters.
The protesters claim the police overreacted to the events. The police say they are still investigating the occurrence, and two officers have been put on paid leave.