Protesters

Injured And Uninsured, Protesters Get Medical Aid From LA Doctor

It wasn’t Deon Jones’ fractured cheekbone or even his concussion that most worried Dr. Amir Moarefi. He was most concerned that Jones could go blind.

“He sustained a rubber bullet direct injury to the cheek, which broke his zygomatic bone, which is your cheekbone, literally about an inch and a half from his eye and about another inch and a half from his temple,” Moarefi said.

The death of George Floyd led to a national wave of protests against police brutality and racism. Law enforcement’s attempts to control impassioned, mostly peaceful crowds has included tactics often deemed “less than lethal,” such as tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. But depending on where a person is hit, Moarefi said, those tactics can cause serious long-term injuries. And, they can kill people.

Jones was hit with a rubber bullet during a protest at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles on

Read More

Fighting COVID And Police Brutality, Medical Teams Take To Streets To Treat Protesters

DENVER — Amid clouds of choking tear gas, booming flash-bang grenades and other other “riot control agents,” volunteer medics plunged into street protests over the past weeks to help the injured — sometimes rushing to the front lines as soon as their hospital shifts ended.

Known as “street medics,” these unorthodox teams of nursing students, veterinarians, doctors, trauma surgeons, security guards, ski patrollers, nurses, wilderness EMTs and off-the-clock ambulance workers poured water — not milk — into the eyes of tear-gassed protesters. They stanched bleeding wounds and plucked disoriented teenagers from clouds of gas, entering dangerous corners where on-duty emergency health responders may fear to go.

Many are medical professionals who see parallels between the front lines of COVID-19, where they confront stark racial imbalances among those stricken by the coronavirus, and what they see as racialized police brutality.

So donning cloth masks to protect against the virus — plus

Read More

Tear-Gassing Protesters During An Infectious Outbreak ‘A Recipe For Disaster’

In nationwide demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody, protesters have been frequently pepper-sprayed or enveloped in clouds of tear gas. These crowd-control weapons are rarely lethal, but in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, there are strong calls for police to stop using these chemical irritants because they can damage the body in ways that can spread the coronavirus and increase the severity of COVID-19.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, some experts said additional research was needed on the risks of tear gas — an umbrella term for several chemical “riot-control agents” used by law enforcement. It’s known that the chemicals can have both immediate and long-term health effects.

Their widespread use in recent weeks while an infectious disease — for which there is no vaccine — continues to spread across the U.S., has stunned experts and physicians. The coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19

Read More

Police Using Rubber Bullets On Protesters That Can Kill, Blind Or Maim For Life

In cities across the country, police departments have attempted to quell unrest spurred by the death of George Floyd by firing rubber bullets into crowds, even though five decades of evidence shows such weapons can disable, disfigure and even kill.

In addition to rubber bullets — which often have a metal core — police have used tear gas, flash grenades, pepper spray gas and projectiles to control crowds of demonstrators demanding justice for 46-year-old George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, while other officers restrained his body. Some peaceful demonstrations have turned violent, with people smashing windows, setting buildings afire and looting stores.

The use by police of rubber bullets has provoked outrage, as graphic images have flashed on social media showing people who have lost an eye or suffered other injuries after being hit.

I just got hit by a rubber bullet near

Read More