BLM Protester Shot in Eye With Rubber Bullet Files Federal Lawsuit Against Florida Police

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BLM Protester Shot in Eye With Rubber Bullet Files Federal Lawsuit Against Florida Police

According to a May 31 Associated Press.

La Toya RatlieffThe 36-year-old was hit in the eye with a rubber bullet, which Fort Lauderdale police fired into the crowd of protesters on May 30, 2020 Eliezer Ramos — who fired the rubber bullets — and five other officers were named in the lawsuit alleging a violation of their civil rights.

Ratlieff suffered a fractured right eye socket, nerve damage to her eye and a 20 stitch laceration that has since left a scar on her forehead. This all happened as Ratlieff choked on tear gas, which had been shot into the crowd by police, witness video shows.

According to her lawyers, the woman also suffered from migraines and psychological trauma.

The rubber bullet in question can be deadly if shot directly to the head or chest, which police have documented at the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

Foam projectile police deployed during nationwide Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 (Image: Getty Images)

“Two years ago I came to Fort Lauderdale to speak out against police brutality. Today I’m returning to do exactly the same thing,” Ratlieff said in a statement her attorneys read at a news conference outside Fort Lauderdale Police Department on Thursday. “I have every reason to believe that if the same circumstances were to be repeated today, the risk of anyone becoming a victim of brutality at the hands of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department is at an all-time high.”

In December, following an internal investigation by the police department, Ramos was acquitted of any crime, the outlet said. According to the investigator, he wasn’t aiming at Ratlieff, but at a man who had hurled a tear gas canister at them, and she just got in their way. Besides, then commissioner Ben Sorensen apologized to Ratlieff.

“Opening fire on American citizens who are asking you to stop using violence against them – there is no excuse for that,” he said Stuart RatzanRatlieff’s chief litigator.