A Marine Corps veteran claims he was shot by police despite surrendering with his hands up, during a Los Angeles protest spurred by the death of George Floyd.
A US Marine Corps veteran claims he was shot by police despite surrendering with his hands up, during a Los Angeles protest spurred by the death of George Floyd.
C.J. Montano, in his first ever protest, says it started peacefully, then became increasingly violent as demonstrators began to throw bottles and other objects at police officers.
"We were sitting in intersections chanting peacefully, a lot of us sitting down," he said to a local media outlet.
"Police started showing up in riot gear and [started] funnelling people in certain directions and launching their 40-millimetre rubber bullets.
"Then from that point, things had started escalating."
Firing rubber bullets into crowds has become common practice among police departments across the US, in an attempt to disperse crowds and quell unrest amid protestor chaos.
According to the 24-year-old, he pleaded with fellow protestors to cease throwing objects, but to no avail.
Mr Montano found himself caught in the crossfire between violent protesters and police shooting rubber bullets and tear gas among the crowds.
"They had shot me in the hips, in the stomach at the same time and I fell over," Mr Montano said.
"They shot the gentleman next to me as well and we stood back up, put our hands up.
"After a couple of minutes, they shot me in the ribs and then we moved to the side behind [a] sign so I could catch my breath."
When Mr Montano returned to the middle of the street, with his hands up, he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet.
"I'm on blood thinners for a different condition. So I started leaking blood out of my head pretty bad," he said.
"They had to put seven staples in my head because my skull was showing from the front. And then after that, they did a CAT scan on my head and my brain was bleeding."
Mr Montano remained at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles for two nights, after a fellow protester drove him to the hospital.
The 24-year-old is now at home, prescribed with anti-seizure medication and temporarily uses a cane to move around.
Despite his sustained injuries, Mr Montano said he plans to continue in protests because he is "tired of seeing racial inequality and injustice".
"When you're enlisted in Marine Corps, you can't publicly go out and bring a certain opinion or image to the Marine Corps that they don't want to represent - but now that I'm out, I finally felt like I have the ability to speak my own opinion," he said.
"I'm going to wear more protection the next time I protest in the case that the violence does escalate, which I don't want it to.
"I don't want violence from either side, but I think that the more people that are out there, the greater the voice will be heard."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/george-floyd-us-protester-shot-by-police-despite-surrendering-with-his-hands-up/c35d1474-2927-462b-8e9d-c571442453b9