Bodycam footage shows LAPD cop firing a foam-covered round at a BLM protester’s groin ‘seriously injuring his testicles’ – as wounded activist vows to sue
- Ben Montemayor says he was shot in crotch with a foam bullet during LA protest
- LAPD released bodycam footage that shows cop opening fire from close range
- Police are investigating the incident, to decide whether officer was in the wrong
- Montemayor says he will sue the police, claiming he had to undergo surgery
California police have released bodycam footage that shows a Black Lives Matter protester being shot in the groin with a foam bullet during a march in Los Angeles.
The video shows 28-year-old photographer Ben Montemayor being shot by a 40mm foam pellet gun along Hollywood Boulevard on June 20.
Montemayor has already announced his intention to sue the LAPD, saying he required emergency surgery when one of his testicles swelled to twice its normal size after he was shot.
Police subsequently announced their own investigation into the shooting.
Bodycam footage taken at a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles on June 20 showed the moment a police officer fired a foam bullet into an activist’s groin
The bodycam footage was released Friday, as part of the police probe.
The footage shows a group of officers who were sent to tackle protesters who were gathering on part of Hollywood Boulevard on June 20.
In the video, officers run towards a junction of Hollywood Boulevard and another street as bottles are thrown at them, and attempt to clear the activists away.
Two protesters can be seen standing on the crosswalk holding a banner, one of whom has his hands raised in the air.
Officers take the banner away and push the man with his hands up away from the crossing. He takes a single step towards the officers, and is shot in the groin.
Montemayor told the LA Times that he was trying to help up a friend who had been pushed to the ground when he was shot.
He said fellow protesters helped him away from the scene, and that afterwards he went to hospital when one of his testicles swelled to twice its normal size.
Footage shows the man – who later identified himself as Ben Montemayor – standing in the middle of a crosswalk with his arms raised in the air
Police take his banner and push him out of the road, before opening fire as he takes a step towards them – which he said was to help a friend who was pushed over
He was taken in for emergency surgery which lasted around three hours in an attempt to preserve his ability to have children.
Montemayor has said he intends to file a lawsuit, and referred all questions to attorney Dan Stormer.
He described the shooting as a ‘brutal assault’ and said the video shows that ‘in some ways, it’s even worse than we thought.’
Dismissing the police investigation, he said the department were simply covering their own backs ‘to protect themselves from the lawsuit that is coming’.
LAPD policy states that crowd-control weapons, such as foam bullets, should only be used on people that are more than five feet away.
Montemayor (obscured right, behind the officer’s arm) has since announced he will sue the LAPD, which the department has launched its own investigation
California has seen near-continuous protests against inequality and police brutality that began in May after the death of George Floyd (pictured, marchers in LA the day before the shooting)
The shooting took place on June 20, a day after demonstrators took to the streets across the US for Juneteenth – marking the day the last Confederate slaves learned of their freedom
The weapons cannot be blindly fired into crowds, must be used against people who present a ‘clear and immediate threat’, and cannot be used to retaliate against verbal threats or because of ‘noncompliance’.
California has seen near-continuous protests over racial inequality and police brutality that began in May in response to the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis.
Protesters gathered in cities across the state on Saturday, June 20 – the date of the shooting – to call for greater equality across the country.
The day fell after Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day on which the last slaves of the Confederacy learned of their freedom.