anaheim police chief says department will review protest videos online to find lawbreakers

by Tim Phillips

Recent police shootings in Anaheim, California ignited protests that have continued for five consecutive days. The protests began on Saturday afternoon when an officer fatally shot an unarmed 25-year-old man, first in the back as he attempted to flee and then in the back of the head. When angry residents took to the street in response, officers attacked them with pepper spray, beanbag rounds, and at least one police dog.

On Tuesday, some of the protesters threw rocks and bottles at police cars, set fires, spray-painted businesses, and broke storefront windows. Officers in riot gear dispersed the crowd with batons, pepper spray, and beanbag rounds. At least 24 people were arrested.

Police Chief John Welter said the Anaheim Police Depatment would review video footage posted online to identify the protesters who broke the law. Now that YouTube offers uploaders the option of blurring faces in videos, that strategy could be less fruitful than it has been after previous uprisings. Regardless, activists can be confident that the risk of government forces monitoring internet videos to identify them isn’t hypothetical.

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