Genevieve Huizar’s protest was planned for 9:30 a.m. Thursday in front of the central courthouse in Santa Ana. It comes a day after officials decided not to press charges against Anaheim Police Officer Nick Bennallack.
Manuel Diaz, 25, was unarmed when he was shot last July. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in its findings that officers recognized Diaz as a gang member who went by the nickname “Stomper.” He and two other men started running when they saw officers approach. Investigators said Diaz ignored commands to stop and appeared to reach into his waistband as though grabbing for a weapon.
Bennallack said he feared for his life and the life of his partner and fired his weapon. Authorities say Diaz was shot twice, including once in the head. It was later determined Diaz was not armed. His cellphone was found nearby.
OCDA investigators interviewed nearly 50 witnesses. After examining all of the evidence, investigators found Bennallack’s actions were justified and he acted in self-defense.