*LaToya Ratlieff, a Florida woman who was shot in the face by a cop’s rubber bullet during a Black Lives Matter protest, said she is not surprised that the officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“It was expected,” Ratlieff said at a news conference Friday, Revolt reports.“We’ve seen this happen too many times … when it comes to Black life.”
“If nothing else, it’s invigorating because it reaffirms why we were in the streets marching … and why this doesn’t end today,” she added.
Last May, Ratlieff attended a George Floyd protest in Fort Lauderdale during which she was struck in the face with a rubber bullet. The bullet shattered her right eye socket.
The officer who fired at Ratlieff, Fort Lauderdale Detective Eliezer Ramos, “identified and targeted an individual who hurled a projectile at our officers with an intent to cause them harm” said Interim Police Chief Patrick Lynn, adding that it was not the officer’s “intent” to hit Ratlieff.”
Video footage of the incident shows Ratlieff walking a few feet away from officers dressed in riot gear. She is seen screaming as blood gushes from her injury.
“The department has made every effort to learn from this incident,” Lynn said. “On behalf of the men and women of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, I want to express my sincerest apology,” Lynn said to Ratlieff.
Ratlieff called Lynn’s apology “disingenuous.”
On Friday she also pushed back against the HB1 bill, legislation endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which Ratlieff said would prohibit protesting for civil rights.
DeSantis is “working to criminalize the first amendment rights of Black people and those who stand with us,” she said.
“HB1 would criminalize the action of law-abiding citizens simply because strangers attending the same demonstrations might break the law,” Ratlieff said. “If HB1 had been the law on May 31, the organizers of that event could have been criminally liable, and even myself as a victim could’ve been criminally liable.”
“My message to the governor is this: You have to take your knees off of our necks. We are tired,” Ratlieff said.