The Los Angeles Police Department recently released body cam footage of an officer firing a nonlethal 40-millimeter projectile directly at a protester’s groin from a few feet away. The LAPD is investigating the incident due to the fact that the protester was not posing an immediate threat to anyone when the officer shot him.
Around 2:40 p.m. on June 2, groups of LAPD officers dressed in riot gear were patrolling Hollywood Boulevard during a demonstration against police brutality. According to police body cam video, the officers entered the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue on foot then immediately ordered the protesters to leave.
In the video, Ben Montemayor and his friend were standing in the crosswalk while holding a large sign that read: “Protect Our Communities,” “Defund Police,” and “Black Lives Matter.” Montemayor raised his hands in the air while continuing to hold the sign when his friend was tackled to the ground by police officers.
As Montemayor began to back away, a police corporal suddenly snatched the sign out of his hand. Another officer standing a few feet away from Montemayor aimed his 40mm foam projectile launcher directly at the protester’s groin and shot him in the testicles before Montemayor could help his friend.
According to Montemayor, he was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and suffered injuries to his testicles due to the projectile hitting him at close range. He does not face any criminal charges.
The LAPD has refused to identify the officers in the video. According to LAPD Captain Stacy Spell, the officer who shot Montemayor in the groin has not been disciplined for violating department policy of only using nonlethal rounds against suspects posing a clear and immediate threat.
Montemayor has reportedly filed a notice of claim with the city and plans to file a lawsuit against the LAPD. The department announced that it has launched an internal investigation into the incident.