Montemayor’s attorney Dan Stormer commented on the footage, “In some ways, it’s even worse than we thought. It’s not often you see something like this that is so cut and dried, but it’s pretty brutal.”
The LAPD is conducting internal investigations into this incident and others, and police have attempted to question Montemayor about the attack and its aftermath. Montemayor says he plans to file a lawsuit against the LAPD and has directed questions to his attorneys Dan Stormer and Shaleen Shanbhag.
Dan Stormer says that Montemayor’s decision not to answer police questions is wise. He calls the LAPD’s internal investigations into its own officers’ conduct a “complete farce, and says, “They’re taking evidence and conducting an investigation to protect themselves from the lawsuit that is coming.” He says it’s clear that the footage shows the attack on Montemayor is a “brutal assault.”
The incident occurred during a June 2nd protest in Hollywood, one of a wave of demonstrations in the wake of the unjustified police killing of George Floyd and other people of color. The video shows police violently grabbing a large protest banner from Montemayor and his female friend. One officer shoves Montemayor and another officer then takes aim at Montemayor, who has his hands up in the air, and shoots him at close range with a 40 mm rubber projectile. Montemayor doubles over and falls to the ground.
Montemayor, a 28-year-old filmmaker, was seriously injured – one of his testicles swelled to twice its normal size — and he was rushed to the emergency room, where he immediately had surgery to preserve his ability to father children.
After Montemayor posted about the incident on Instagram and commented on it in a June 11 LA Times article (https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-11/lapd-violated-protocols-for-batons-and-less-lethal-bullets-injuring-many-protesters), the LAPD launched the investigation into the attack on Montemayor and other instances of police use of force during the summer protests.
The uses of 40 mm projectiles to subdue peaceful and unarmed protestors like Montemayor clearly goes against LAPD policy, which states that these weapons are meant to be used against people who present a “clear and immediate threat” and should not be deployed at close range.
Black Lives Matter-LA, the LA Community Action Network and others organizations have already filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of protestors for injuries suffered due to the LAPD’s inappropriate use of projectile weapons and batons (https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-09-11/complex-years-long-litigation-anticipated-in-lapd-protest-lawsuit).