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Home / Neighborhood / Los Angeles / Former anti-apartheid activist to mediate protest injury suit

Former anti-apartheid activist to mediate protest injury suit

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A man who says he was shot in the groin with a rubber bullet without provocation in 2020 during a mass protest in the Fairfax District over the death of George Floyd has agreed to mediation of his suit against the city of Los Angeles.

Bradley Steyn’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed in September 2020, alleging civil rights violations, assault, battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. On Tuesday, Steyn’s attorneys filed court papers with Judge Maurice A. Leiter announcing a joint agreement to have the suit mediated by attorney Rick Copeland, with proceedings to occur before Feb. 1.

He is seeking unspecified damages in the complaint filed Thursday.

The suit states that Steyn was shot while taking part in a May 30, 2020, protest, one of many throughout the country in the wake of the in-custody death five days earlier of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in Minneapolis.

“Without any warning or instruction, the LAPD officer shot him in the genitals,” the suit states.

Steyn, a former anti-apartheid activist who co-authored a book about his experiences in his native South Africa, talked about his injuries during a June 2020 news conference.

“One of my testicles ruptured and led to me almost bleeding out and dying on the streets of Los Angeles,” he said then.

At no time before Steyn was shot did he hear any officer issue a lawful dispersal order, provide time for demonstrators to disperse, warn the crowd that less-lethal firearms would be deployed if protesters did not disperse or provide any direct orders to the plaintiff, according to his court papers.

The suit says Capt. Stacy Spell of the LAPD’s Media Relations Division narrated a video in which the LAPD alleges the plaintiff kicked an officer, causing him to fall on his back. But if the officer did fall, he “then quickly stood back up, uninjured,” according to the plaintiff’s court papers, which say the LAPD officer who shot Steyn did so in retaliation for the plaintiff allegedly kicking the other officer.

Steyn, who alleges another officer beat him in the chest with a baton, also saw weapons used against other protesters, the suit states.

“The beating and the LAPD’s brutality against unarmed civilians inevitably summoned the memory of George Floyd,” according to the complaint.

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