A California man’s testicle exploded after he was shot by rubber bullets during a protest last summer by a member of the Los Angeles Police Department. Ben Montemayor attended a protest against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd when he was shot in the groin, leaving him with a ruptured testicle that required surgery. While the LAPD Use of Force Review Board ruled that the officer in question was abiding by policy, Montemayor has since filed a suit against the force in court to challenge the ruling.
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- The suit names the city of Los Angeles and LAPD Chief Michel Moore as the defendants. Montemayor’s suit is alleging that he was the victim of excessive force and that his constitutional rights were violated during the encounter, the Los Angeles Times reports. “As Mr. Montemayor stood there, unarmed, not resisting arrest, posing no threat whatsoever to anyone around him, and having just been violently shoved, a third officer less than ten feet away aimed his green [40-millimeter] launcher at Mr. Montemayor and intentionally shot him in the groin with a high-speed plastic, hard foam projectile,” the suit states.
- The surgery Montemayor was forced to undergo was extensive. The suit further reveals that Montemayor’s testicles swelled to the size of a grapefruit after he was shot and that the emergency surgery he was forced to undergo meant “piecing back together portions of his testicle which had exploded.” It was uncertain whether or not he would be able to save the tescticle at all.
- Montemayor is still experiencing trauma. He reveals in the lawsuit that he is still undergoing therapy as a result of what he experienced at the hands of the LAPD that day and that he still has flashbacks to the event, which he claims represents “a horrific example of the unjustified police abuse and First Amendment retaliation meted out violently against peaceful protesters.”
- He hopes this will hold police accountable for their actions. As Montemayor told the Los Angeles Times of the weapon used against him: “They’re used irresponsibly. They’re overused. I don’t want them to be downplayed.” His attorney Dan Stormer added: “A society cannot survive if the police are allowed to run wild in the streets. The LAPD is out of control.”