George Floyd protests: Woman who ‘lost eye’ tells people to keep demonstrating

‘Some folk are using my injury to argue that people should stop protesting,’ she claims

Zoe Tidman
Sunday 31 May 2020 17:17 BST
George Floyd: Minneapolis protests take over the city

A woman who says she lost an eye during a protest over George Floyd’s death has urged people to keep demonstrating.

Linda Tirado, a journalist and photographer covering the protests in Minneapolis, the city where Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes, told people to “stay in the streets” for her.

“It comes to my attention that some folk are using my injury to argue that people should stop protesting,” she wrote on Twitter.

“F*** that, stay in the streets double for me, because I can’t.”

She claimed: “It was police who shot me, not protesters.”

Ms Tirado said she has lost eyesight in her left eye after what she believed was a rubber bullet hit her in the face ⁠— although Minneapolis Police told The New York Times they have not used them for decades.

“If someone believes that we have injured them, we encourage people to contact our Internal Affairs Unit or the Office of Police Conduct Review,” John Elder, a police spokesperson told the newspaper, adding he was not aware of the incident at the time.

Ms Tirado told The New York Times: “I was aiming my next shot, put my camera down for a second, and then my face exploded.”

The Minneapolis Police Department has been approached for comment by The Independent.

Protesters have taken to the streets in Minneapolis ⁠— as well as in other US cities and across the world ⁠— after Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed after he pleaded for air as a policeman kept him pinned to the ground.

Derek Chauvin, the now-fired officer, was charged with third-degree murder on Friday.

Tens of thousands of people have joined nightly protests across the US since Floyd’s death, with at least 1,600 people arrested in 22 cities as some demonstrations descended into violence.

From Los Angeles to Miami to Chicago, demonstrations marked by chants of ”I can’t breathe” ⁠— a rallying cry echoing Floyd’s dying words ⁠— began peacefully on Saturday before escalating as people blocked traffic, torched cars and businesses, and clashed with riot police – some responding with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Hundreds gathered in Trafalgar Square in London for a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Sunday, with some holding signs reading “Justice for George” and “Rest in power”.

Additional reporting by agencies

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