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8 Sep, 2010 21:48

Angry protests after LA police shoot immigrant

Tensions are flaring in one Los Angeles neighborhood following the shooting death of a Guatemalan immigrant by the LAPD. For two nights angry demonstrators have squared off with riot police.

According to police reports, three cops on bicycles confronted 37- year old Manuel Jamines after he refused to put down a knife.

Neighbors remember hearing the gunshots. Two days later, blood stains on the sidewalk show where his life ended.

The Los Angeles Police Department is defending its actions. And since the shooting most of the local media is reporting that the shooting was justified.

But in the working class community of Westlake, neighbors disagree and are questioning whether deadly force was necessary. Neighbors we talked to did not want to speak on camera out of fear they would be the next target.

Over the last decade, this neighborhood has gone from a predominantly black neighborhood to mostly immigrants from Guatemala. But no matter the nationality there is a strong sense of distrust and fear of the police.

The fighting over the last couple of nights between protesters and police has brought back painful memories of an event that happened just a few blocks away at MacArthur Park.

It was just 3 years ago Los Angeles police officers swung batons at several people and media during a peaceful immigration protest. The clash is still fresh in the minds of this neighborhood still fearful of the police.

Dozens of demonstrators who have spoken out against the deadly shooting have been arrested. Meantime more demonstrations are expected in the coming days to protest what some are calling a clear case of police murder.