On Monday, the US Supreme Court chose not to hear a case involving a controversial fatal officer-involved shooting that sparked a week protests in Anaheim.
In 2012, Anaheim police officer Nick Bennallack shot and killed 25-year-old Manuel Diaz, who was unarmed. When Bennallack approached Diaz, the young man was talking with two people in an alley. When Diaz saw officers coming toward him, he ran away. The officers reportedly chased Diaz into an apartment complex, at which point, he turned toward the officers while his hands were out of view. Bennallack shot Diaz in the head and buttocks, reportedly fearing that Diaz was armed, although no gun was found at the scene.
In 2013, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced that Bennallack would not face charges in the fatal shooting.
Diaz’s mother, Genevieve Huizar, filed a civil lawsuit against the officer and the city of Anaheim, alleging that Bennallack used excessive force when he killed her unarmed son.
The Supreme Court decision lets stand a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Huizar’s lawsuit should be retried after a judge allowed the defendants to discuss “inflammatory” evidence of Diaz’s reported gang affiliation, criminal history, and past drug use.
The retrial is scheduled for October 2017.
Photo: Attorney for Diaz family argues before the 9th Circuit.