Former Anti-Apartheid Activist Accuses LAPD Of Excessive Force at Protest

Khallid Shabazz

A man who said he was shot in the groin with a rubber bullet during a mass protest in the Fairfax District visited Los Angeles Police Department headquarters to call for changes in the agency's use-of-force rules.

Bradley Steyn said he was taking part in a protest May 30 in the aftermath of the Minneapolis death of George Floyd. He said he was trying to assist another protester who was grappling with police when an officer fired the rubber bullet at him at point-blank range.

"At the march, I was shot by a member of the LAPD with a rubber bullet in my testicles,'' Steyn said. "One of my testicles ruptured and led to me almost bleeding out and dying on the streets of Los Angeles.''

Steyn, a South African native and noted anti-Apartheid activist who co-authored a book about his experiences, said he was also beaten with batons when he was on the ground, and officers made no attempt to assist him as he bled.

His attorney, Lisa Bloom, released photos of Steyn's injuries, showing severe bruising on his chest and inner thigh.

"We demand that rubber bullets be severely curtailed or banned,'' Bloom said. "We demand rules requiring that they never be shot at point-blank range and never at someone's genitals or face.''

LAPD officials declined to comment, citing Bloom's threat of litigation, but reiterated that the department is vigorously investigating reports of excessive force during the recent protests.

"We are fully committed to investigating every allegation of misconduct or excessive force related to the recent protests,'' according to the department. "We have assigned 40 investigators to look into each alleged instance and we will conduct a thorough investigation.''

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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