There’s a horrifying viral video of a police officer in Los Angeles, California shooting a protester with a rubber bullet at close range. The LAPD was responding to a clash between two groups protesting over trans issues outside of Koreatown Spa. Officers arrived to the scene in riot gear, prompting some protesters to throw bottles and projectiles, according to authorities. The police responded by announcing that everyone had to immediately disperse. When that didn’t happen, the officers got more aggressive and this led to one woman getting shot with a non-lethal round at almost point-blank range. The video of the incident shows the woman who got shot holding a phone and not being a threat to anyone. It’s hard to imagine there being a reasonable justification for the officer doing this.
Rubber bullets are not supposed to be used in this manner. Even though they are generally not lethal, rubber bullets can still be very dangerous at close range. Most police department policies have very specific rules about how these weapons can be deployed. There are often minimum distance requirements and rubber bullets are often reserved for dangerous, non-compliant individuals. Some right wingers have mentioned that this victim was at fault because she didn’t comply with the orders to disperse. Many of these same people defended the Trump rioters and criticized the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, even though Babbitt was trespassing in the Capitol and tried to break into the House chamber. Information on this latest incident will continue to come out and we’ll be sure to follow it.
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