A growing number of California lawmakers, medical experts and criminal justice reform advocates are calling for stricter limits on the use of hard-foam projectiles by law enforcement after Los Angeles police officers seriously wounded several men following the recent Lakers’ NBA title victory.
The latest injuries — which included one man losing eight teeth and another who said he was blinded in one eye — follow others suffered by protesters in L.A. and across the country this summer, and show once more the dangers presented by such weapons, the critics said.
Some want a total ban. Others want to see reduced use and better mechanisms for tracking the impacts.
Police officials, meanwhile, defended their use of the weapons but said they are trying to minimize it. L.A. Police Department Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that he is rushing to order shields for officers so that they have another tool to defend themselves against increasingly violent threats from demonstrators.
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