Violence shakes Anaheim -- and its image

Protesters clash with police during a demonstration to show outrage for the shooting death of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall on July 24, 2012 in Anaheim, Calif. Diaz was fatally shot July 21 by an Anaheim police officer and has sparked days of protests by the angered community.

Stacey Vanek Smith: This past weekend police in Anaheim, California shot and killed an unarmed man; violent protests and looting erupted.

Anaheim is best known as the home of Disneyland, but there's a lot more to the city than that, as Shereen Marisol Meraji reports.


Shereen Marisol Meraji: Anaheim is much more than a resort town famous for Disney theme parks and Angels baseball. The area where that police shooting took place is packed with low-rent apartment buildings and most residents are Latino and poor. Nearly 16 percent of Anaheim residents live below the poverty line.

Gustavo Arellano grew up in Anaheim. He also edits the O.C. Weekly paper, Arellano calls his hometown.

Gustavo Arellano: The Tragic Kingdom.

That's a nod to the band No Doubt, also from Anaheim.

Arellano: Over the past decade, you've seen a city that's put all its focus on trying to develope the area immediately around Disneyland and immediately around Anaheim stadium.

Arellano adds at the same time, city services have been cut affecting low-income people the most. City council member Kris Murray says without the resort areas, Anaheim would be in much worse shape.

Kris Murray: Because we have a resort area at the caliber we have, because Disney just invested another billion dollars in "Cars Land," we're actually able to maintain our reserves and increase services for the first time since the recession.

Murray says those services are going straight to the poorest neighborhoods in Anaheim. But now the world knows Anaheim is not all happy and magical -- will that affect tourism?

Elaine Cali: You wouldn't know that there was any disturbance here.

Elaine Cali with the Anaheim visitor and convention bureau told me that in the resort areas, it's business as usual.

I'm Shereen Marisol Meraji for Marketplace.

About the author

Shereen Marisol Meraji is a reporter for Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk.

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