By Niara Savage
A Fort Lauderdale, Florida, officer who shot a protester in the face with a rubber bullet at a Black Lives Matter protest last year, leaving her with horrific injuries, has been cleared of wrongdoing.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department announced at a Thursday press conference that Detective Eliezer Ramos did not intentionally strike LaToya Ratlieff with the rubber bullet during a May 31 protest.
“Detective Ramos identified and targeted an individual who had hurled a projectile at our officers with the intent to cause them harm. The internal affairs investigation has determined that it was not Detective Ramos’s intent to strike Ms. Ratlieff,” said Interim Police Chief Patrick Lynn.
On the day of the incident, Ratlieff wandered toward a conflict between police and protesters, where officers were spraying tear gas and firing rubber bullets at a crowd that began throwing water bottles after one officer shoved a woman who was kneeling.