The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $300,000 lawsuit settlement for a man who lost part of a testicle after being shot by a Los Angeles Police Department officer firing a less-than-lethal projectile during a 2020 protest over the killing of George Floyd, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In his federal lawsuit, David Bond of Los Angeles claimed he was protesting peacefully when he was hit in the groin at close range by a police projectile,. He alleged that the LAPD’s decision to shoot him represented “excessive and unreasonable force” and a lack of training and oversight, and violated his civil rights.
Bond claimed “permanent disfigurement” in the lawsuit and demanded $2 million from the city in damages.
The settlement, which was reportedly reached back in January after the case went to mediation, is among the first to come out of several lawsuits over the LAPD’s response to demonstrations that took place in May and June of 2020 following the police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis.
The city’s lawyers concluded Bond’s settlement was “a better result than likely could be achieved” if the case went to a jury trial, given the facts of the case, the Times reports.
The incident happened on May 29, 2020 when Bond had been a part of a large protest near City hall in downtown L.A. Bond said he followed commands by police to back up, although he’d never heard officers declare the gathering unlawful and had given officers no reason to view him as a threat. The city says police did declare the gathering unlawful.
Bond said he “never threatened anyone, made no aggressive movements toward anyone, made no furtive gestures, and no physical movements that would reasonably suggest to the [police] that [he] was attempting, willing, or intending to inflict harm to anyone,” the Times reports.
The city said Bond was seen on video using a tennis racket and a salad bowl “to shield himself and others from less lethal projectiles being fired at him and the crowd,” but there was no evidence that he had participated in throwing objects at officers or that he used the racket as a weapon.
“Mr. Bond is observed shouting and being argumentative toward officers, and refusing to follow the officers’ orders to leave the area, but his noncompliance did not justify the use of less lethal munitions being fired at him,” the city attorneys wrote, according to the Times.
There was no video of the shooting itself. City attorneys said it was unclear what struck Bond, but that “the nature of his injury and wound suggest that he was struck by possibly a 37 [millimeter] or 40 [millimeter] projectile fired at relatively close range.”
After he was struck by the projectile, Bond received no medical assistance from officers at the scene, attorneys said. He eventually drove home before his fiancé took him to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and a portion of his left testicle was removed.
The city faces other lawsuits related to the LAPD’s actions during protests, including some from other people who said they were shot with projectiles in the testicles and in the head, the Times reports.
Black Lives Matter Los Angeles also filed a class-action lawsuit against the LAPD, which resulted in the department restricting its use of hard-foam projectiles in crowd control situations.
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