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A protester in the US has filed a lawsuit after his testicle was exploded by a rubber bullet.
Ben Montemayor was protesting against police brutality in Hollywood last June, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, when a Los Angeles police officer shot him with a rubber bullet.
An LAPD Use of Force Review Board found that the officer was within policy when he shot the 29-year-old, who filed a lawsuit challenging the finding on Monday (12 April).
Montemayor was holding a sign calling for the LAPD to be defunded, and according to his lawsuit, he had not heard a dispersal order as riot police began advancing.
The lawsuit claims: "As Mr. Montemayor stood there, unarmed, not resisting arrest, posing no threat whatsoever to anyone around him, and having just been violently shoved, a third officer less than ten feet away aimed his green [40-millimeter] launcher at Mr. Montemayor and intentionally shot him in the groin with a high-speed plastic, hard foam projectile."
Montemayor's testicles immediately swelled, with one growing to the size of a grapefruit, according to the lawsuit. He subsequently had to undergo emergency surgery which involved 'piecing back together portions of his testicle which had exploded'.
In a post on Instagram at the time, Montemayor said: "The surgeon was afraid if they wasted any time, I might lose my testicle entirely."
The lawsuit states that Montemayor has undergone physical therapy and still experiences flashbacks stemming from 'a horrific example of the unjustified police abuse and First Amendment retaliation meted out violently against peaceful protesters'.
LAPD policy states that officers should only use projectiles against protesters if they present a physical threat.
Montemayor hopes his lawsuit - which seeks unspecified monetary damages - will hold the LAPD accountable and protect future protesters from such projectiles.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, he said: "They're used irresponsibly. They're overused. I don't want them to be downplayed."
Attorney Dan Stormer added: "A civilized society cannot survive if the police are allowed to run wild in the streets.
"The LAPD is out of control."
LADbible has contacted the LAPD for comment.
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