LAPD officers shot a protester with a projectile in the groin at close range during a demonstration at a Hollywood intersection over the summer, according to body-camera footage released by the department on Friday.
Ben Montemayor was holding a sign at Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue before he was pushed by an officer and another shot him with a 40-mm projectile, video shows.
The June 2 incident sent the 28-year-old filmmaker to an emergency room with serious injuries to his testicles, he told the Los Angeles Times after the encounter.
“After he was shot, Montemayor said, one of his testicles swelled to twice its usual size, and he was rushed into emergency surgery to preserve his ability to father children,” the paper reported.
The Los Angeles Police Department opened an investigation into the June shooting two months later, citing an article from the L.A. Times detailing injuries suffered by Montemayor and other civilians during protests that gripped Southern California in May and June.
According to the L.A. Times, LAPD policy only allows the deployment of 40-mm projectile weapons on people with clear and immediate threat who are at least 5 feet away — not in response to verbal threats or “mere noncompliance.”
Montemayor planned to sue the Police Department, which said that the 28-year-old has not provided his account to the agency.
Similar recent encounters between LAPD officers and protesters have been captured on video, several of them under investigation.