Months after a large protest in Los Angeles, California — Hollywood to be exact — occurred, shocking video footage of the LAPD’s mishandling of protesters is now surfacing.
There is one video, in particular, that shows police officers yanking a protest sign from a man’s hands at a Hollywood intersection, and another cop pushing him from behind, which then follows the man being shot in the groin by a projectile by an officer at close range as his hands were up in the air.
The victim of this incident is 28-year-old Ben Montemayor. He’s a filmmaker and he’s since suffered multiple serious injuries to his genitals as a result of the shooting. Montemayor told the Los Angeles Times that he had to be rushed into emergency surgery due to the attack, as well.
According to him, one of his testicles swelled up to twice its actual size and Montemayor had to have surgery done immediately in order to save his ability to father children.
Now that this footage has released, new questions about the LAPD’s tactics throughout the summer protests are being raised. When it comes to the 40-millimeter projectile that a cop used on the protester, this is especially raising flags because, according to policy, they’re not supposed to be used on people who demonstrate “mere noncompliance.” Nevertheless, Montemayor didn’t fit this bill because he was, in fact, being compliant with his hands raised and he wasn’t posing a threat, his lawyer stated.
“In some ways, it’s even worse than we thought,” said Dan Stormer, one of Montemayor’s attorneys. “It’s not often you see something like this that is so cut and dried, but it’s pretty brutal.” His client was reportedly shot with the projectile at about a five-foot range.
Last month, the LAPD launched an investigation into his shooting. However, Stormer calls LAPD investigations “a complete farce.” “They’re taking evidence and conducting an investigation to protect themselves from the lawsuit that is coming,” the attorney said. Montemayor has already taken steps to sue the Los Angeles Police Department for the incident.
The department is already facing another major lawsuit from Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, other activists groups, and protesters for alleged improper use of projectile weapons and batons used during the summer protests.
In July, the LAPD released footage of a protester being shot in the head with a projectile as he stood with his hands up.