On Wednesday, a 26-year-old man was awarded $3.75 million after a jury found that the Los Angeles Police Department acted negligently when officers shot him twice with hard-foam bullets during the 2020 George Floyd riots.
Asim Jamal Shakir Jr sued the LAPD in 2021 alleging that his uncle, an officer, had told him to leave the area and instructed his colleagues to shoot him with the projectiles when he refused.
According to the LA Times, Shakir joined riots in downtown LA on the evening of May 29, livestreaming the event. His lawyer, Carl Douglas, argued that the then-21-year-old had arrived late and was unaware that the police had ordered the crowds to disperse.
Before long, Shakir spotted his uncle in amongst the group of LAPD officers in front of him and confronted him over the fact he was on the side of law enforcement and not those protesting the killing of George Floyd.
"Our ancestors are turning over in their grave right now!" Shakir shouted, at which point his uncle said to his colleagues, "That's my nephew," and "I'm going to be on his ass if he doesn’t get out of here."
Shakir alleged that his uncle then motioned towards him and told his fellow officers to open fire with the hard-foam bullets. He was struck once in the hand, knocking his phone onto the ground. As he bent over to pick it up, he was struck a second time.
He underwent a year of physical therapy to deal with the injuries he sustained to his hand, and claimed that the pain was not entirely gone. Shakir, an avid videographer, said he could no longer properly hold a camera grip.
The LAPD conducted its own investigation following the incident, and found no reports of shots being fired. The jury's decision came after reviewing Shakir's Instagram live footage and that from officer bodycams.
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