A 30-year-old man filed suit Wednesday against the city of Los Angeles and its police department, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated when he was wounded by an officer who fired projectiles during a demonstration last year in the Fairfax area to protest the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Christian Pineda of Los Angeles alleges in the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court that he was at least 25 feet away from a skirmish line of riot gear-clad Los Angeles Police Department officers with his open hands stretched out above his head.
“Without provocation, the battalion of officers fired at least 10 kinetic impact projectiles at a small group of peaceful protesters,” Pineda alleges.
An LAPD spokesman said the department cannot comment on pending litigation, but officials previously said the department is investigating its handling of Floyd-related protests that took place throughout the city over a number of days in May and June 2020.
News footage appears to show Pineda buckle over in pain and stagger backward, according to the complaint, which states that several other protesters risked their own safety to assist him.
“The extremely dangerous part-metal projectile that LAPD discharged on Mr. Pineda burned through two layers of clothing, created a throbbing open wound the diameter of a softball, and left him with permanent scarring,” according to Dan Stormer, one of Pineda’s attorneys.
“The abject brutality of the LAPD during these protests was extensively covered by the international press,” Stormer said. “Like the brutalization of so many other protesters that day, the shooting of Christian Pineda places in sharp relief the LAPD’s lawless cruelty against peaceful demonstrators partaking in the largest mobilization for civil rights in the history of our country.”
The city and LAPD are also being sued in federal court by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and the National Lawyers Guild in a proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of protesters. Dozens of other lawsuits alleging excessive force have been filed by individuals who were injured by police at the demonstrations.
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