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Photographer Blinded in One Eye by Foam Bullet Sues Minneapolis Police

Photographer Linda Tirado was hit in the face while covering a Minneapolis protest

Photographer Linda Tirado, who was hit in the face with a foam bullet while covering a Minneapolis protest and lost vision in one eye, has sued the city and its police.

The complaint, filed Wednesday in a Minnesota district court and reviewed by TheWrap, names Minneapolis, MPD chief Medaria Arradondo, Lt. Robert Kroll, Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, State Patrol Col. Matthew Langer and John Does 1-4 as defendants.

Representatives for the named defendants did not immediately return requests for comment.

Tirado is identified as an “internationally renowned journalist” in the complaint, which recounts what happened as follows: ” On Friday evening of May29, 2020, Ms. Tirado stepped in front of the protesting crowd and aimed her professional Nikon camera at the police officers to take a picture of the police line. Ignoring the press credential she wore around her neck, police officers marked her with a ballistic tracking round. Then, with a bright green target on her, the police shot her in her face with foam bullets. With blood dripping down her face, she cried out repeatedly, ‘I’m press!’, but the police ignored her. By the time protestors got her to the hospital, Ms. Tirado’s left eye was permanently destroyed.”

Her account of the incident that she posted to Twitter soon after it happened went viral.

On that same platform Wednesday, she wrote of the lawsuit, which demands a jury trial, saying, “I am also mindful that these verdicts are paid by the taxpayer rather than the police budget and so a substantial amount of any recovery, after I’ve paid the bills I’ve incurred for this and the like, will be donated to local community initiatives. Let’s go.”

She’s seeking a declaration that the defendants’ actions violated the First and Fourth Amendments, as well as compensation and punitive damages.

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