LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A former anti-apartheid activist from South Africa who says he was struck in the groin area with a rubber bullet during a recent protest in the Fairfax District called for widespread changes to American policing.
Bradley Steyn says he was part of a protest on May 30 after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis when he saw an incident of police brutality. After intervening, he says he was then hit in the groin area with a rubber bullet. Steyn, who has retained celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom, says he underwent surgery, but is still dealing with pain and physical issues after being shot with the less-than-lethal round nearly a month later.
“This militarization and apartheid-style policing and biased laws has to end,” Steyn said. “The oppression and racism has to stop.”
Attorney Teri Gibbs said reform is necessary to curtail the use of rubber bullets and how they are deployed.
“Studies show that 15% of people who are struck with rubber bullets are left with permanent disability,” she said.
Several lawsuits have already been filed in connection with the Los Angeles protests. One woman says an LAPD foam round hit her and caused a brain injury as she was driving near a protest, while another woman says she was zip-tied for six hours for violating curfew.
Bloom says she is pursuing a lawsuit against the LAPD on behalf of Steyn, and is calling for police to stop using rubber bullets and other excessive force.
“American police are out of control,” Bloom said. “At protests against police brutality, again and again, they are proving the protesters’ point.”
The LAPD said they could not comment on pending litigation, but has launched investigations into all allegations of excessive force during the protests.