A man with an eyepatch looks at the camera, behind him is another man running from what looks like tear gas.

Police Partially Blind Eight People at Protests

Human Rights Investigations Lab 2020

Student Investigations Lab Project

The Investigations Lab contributed videos, photos, and social media posts to the Washington Post for a story on injuries caused by police during the week of protests following George Floyd’s death.

On May 30, 2020, at least eight people lost vision in one eye after being struck by police projectiles. Thousands of protesters gathered in cities across the country on the first Saturday after George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. As law enforcement officers moved to clear the streets, some fired what are called “less lethal” munitions. The Washington Post found that eight people lost vision in one eye after being struck by police projectiles, including lead pellets packed in cloth pouches that were fired from shotguns. They were among 12 people who were partially blinded during a week of national unrest. The Post interviewed all eight of those who lost sight that day. Six were protesters, one was a photojournalist, and another was a passerby. Drawing on extensive cellphone and surveillance videos, police reports and other records, The Post reconstructed the circumstances of three of those incidents in detail.

Police in riot gear approach protesters.
Police in riot gear approach protesters. Image by Shot By Joe via Upsplash


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Washington Post Visual Investigation


Team Acknowledgements

Student Contributors: Sarah Cahlan and Brian Castner


Police in riot gear approach protesters.

July 14, 2020

Partially Blinded by Police

Investigations Lab in the News — Washington Post: Partially Blinded by Police, reporting with Investigations Lab research. Police in riot