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How Many People Have Been Blinded by the Police?

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Victims of “less lethal weapons” face uncertain futures and medical procedures.

According to Shot in the Head, a report released in September 2020 by Physicians for Human Rights, during the protests between May 26 and July 27 of last year, US law enforcement officials shot 115 people in the head with “less lethal weapons.” Of these victims, at least 30 suffered permanent ocular damage, reports The Guardian.

In Cleveland, John Sanders was shot in the face with a beanbag round. Lead pellets from the canvas bag ripped through his left eyelid and ruptured the globe of his eyeball. Nikita Tarver, 33, insists that she was shot because she was the only Black face in a sea of protestors. Matthew Leo Cima was also shot in DC, while protesting in Lafayette Square. Linda, 38, a writer and  independent journalist, was lining up a shot during the Minneapolis protests when a foam-nosed round burst through her protective goggles and tore her left cornea nearly in two. Victims of less lethal rounds’ physical injuries varied in severity, but so did access to quality medical care, trustworthy legal counsel, and supportive social networks. In October 2020, Wil Sands, a photojournalist and victim, created a chat group on a secure messaging platform for what we called the “Shot-In-The-Eye-Squad,” inspired by the organizing of Chile’s Coordinadora de Victimas por Trauma Ocular, a grassroots organization for those who have lost eyes to ‘less lethal’ weapons.

Source: The Crime Report

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