$10 million claim filed by woman who says she was struck in face by LAPD rubber bullet

"I don't know if they were targeting her intentionally or just grossly negligent," Yasmin Morales' attorney said.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Yasmin Morales said she was out in the Fairfax District to shop for her son's birthday but ended up at a hospital after police shot her in the face with a rubber bullet during May 31 protests against the death of George Floyd.

"When she stopped at a stop sign, near the Grove here in Los Angeles, her driver-side window was down," said Morales' attorney, Neama Rahmani.

They say the Los Angeles Police Department fired a rubber bullet that went through Morales' window and shot her in the face. Morales' passenger drove her to a hospital.

"We believe a 40mm (rubber) bullet travels through her open car door window and strikes her in the left side of her skull in the temple area right next to her eye socket," Rahmani said. "It fractures her skull, results in a brain bleed, a traumatic brain injury.

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The LAPD is coming under fire for its tactics during the recent protests targeting police brutality. Several organizations are suing, claiming officers used excessive force and violated civil rights.

"We are still waiting for the body cam footage and video evidence from protesters who were there. We believe LAPD was shooting from their vehicles in the direction of Ms. Morales, I don't know if they were targeting her intentionally or just grossly negligent."

The claim filed against the city of Los Angeles seeks $10 million.

"We ask for the high-end of the range because we want to protect our client and make sure that she's compensated if she has to deal with life-long brain injury," the attorney said.

The LAPD did not comment on the claim.

Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, pointed to research about the use of rubber bullets and how they can be lethal in some circumstance.

"Rubber bullets are in theory supposed to be, in theory, non-lethal," he said. "But there's a small percentage of cases that do result in a fatality. That number seems to be somewhere less than 5%. But that's still far too much."
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