Rubber bullets, pellet guns, flash bangs, and tear gas are often used by police to control protesting crowds, but these weapons, which are often called “non-lethal” crowd control measures by the police who use them can sometimes cause serious injury and in some cases, death. These “non-lethal” weapons have been used against protestors in recent Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests. Studies have shown that these weapons can cause serious injury and death and in some cases, researchers have advised that they not be used to control crowds because of the risks they pose. Despite this, these “non-lethal” weapons continue to be used. The New York Times recently published an investigative report looking into the ways that “non-lethal” weapons used in protests can sometimes result in serious injuries for those who are struck.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota that works with individuals and families who have been hurt due to the negligence or neglect of another person or party. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a “non-lethal” weapon in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino may be able to assist you. We are here to help.
What are the Risks of Rubber Bullets, Pellet Guns, and Other Crowd Control Measures?
Several studies have identified risks associated with weapons police use to control crowds, including pellet guns and rubber bullets. The British Medical Journal analyzed the types of injuries associated with rubber bullets, plastic bullets, bean bag rounds, pellets, and other projectiles. Of the 1,984 people struck by these weapons, 53 died from their injuries and another 300 people suffered permanent disability. When individuals were struck in the head and neck by these projectiles, the injuries were most severe. The researchers concluded that while rubber bullets, pellet guns, plastic bullets, and other projectiles are often used for crowd control measures in the U.S. during protests, these projectiles pose a serious personal injury risk to the protestors on which they are used and therefore the researchers note that they may not be appropriate crowd control measures.
Another study published in BMJ Military Health referenced the risk that “non-lethal” weapons posed when used as methods of crowd control. Six people were killed, 685 people suffered eye injuries, and 45 people were blinded when these “non-lethal” weapons were used. The researchers also noted a large number of deep wounds and fractures. The percentage of injuries and serious disability resulting from the use of these weapons is alarming.
In a more recent New York Times investigative report into injuries Black Lives Matter protestors were suffering, reporters noted instances of brain damage, skull fractures, puncture wounds, and more. One man suffered a penetrative wound to his groin, requiring hours of surgery. According to the Times, the man was told that he might not be able to have children as a result of his injury. Others were struck in the head by rubber bullets and pellet guns, with reports of fractured skulls, brain damage, and the need for surgery. Pepper spray has been associated with eye injuries and respiratory distress. Flash bangs have been associated with punctured ear drums, ear pain, and hearing loss.
Repeatedly in the news and in scientific studies “non-lethal” weapons have been found to be lethal. Experts continue to say that these weapons shouldn’t be considered “non-lethal” but rather should be considered “less-lethal.” Despite the research on these weapons, police officers continue to use them and in many municipalities they are considered acceptable methods of crowd control. As more people continue to get hurt, more families are likely to come forward outlining their injuries. Victims and their families might have a right to fight back if these weapons were used on crowds without care, without due cause, or if the use of these weapons resulted in serious injuries. The Law Offices of Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota that is hearing cases from those who have been seriously injured due to the neglect or negligence of another person or party. Our lawyers can review the use of force, police brutality, or the use of these “non-lethal” weapons to determine whether they should have been used at all and to determine your rights if you have been hurt.
Seek Justice Today
As more families and individuals speak out against police brutality, we are more likely to see cases where police officers and police forces are held to account. If you or someone you love was seriously injured by “non-lethal” weapons, you may have rights. Reach out to the Law Offices of Martin T. Montilino, a personal injury law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with the personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Martin T. Montilino today.