Freelance journalist Linda Tirado spoke on Sunday about being blinded in one eye by a foam bullet which was shot at her by police while covering the protests in Minneapolis.
Hey folks, took a tracer found to the face (I think, given my backpack) and am headed into surgery to see if we can save my left eye
Am wisely not gonna be on Twitter while I’m on morphine
Stay safe folks pic.twitter.com/apZOyGrcBO
— Linda Tirado (@KillerMartinis) May 30, 2020
Tirado took the last picture she would take with both of her eyes on May 3o. Her Patreon page shows a police officer aiming a foam bullet gun directly at her while she was covering the protests in Minneapolis on May 30. (RELATED: Starbucks To Let Employees Wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ Attire After Originally Banning It)
Tirado is now permanently blind in her left eye, according to CNN. The foam bullet fired at her broke the goggles she was wearing as a precautionary measure.
The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a non-profit organization that tracks violence against journalists, has verified over 400 incidents of journalists being attacked during the George Floyd protests. Tirado also spoke about how freelance reporters are allegedly at higher risk than most.
“As a freelancer without the protections of a press desk and the attorneys that would come with a network or a news masthead —freelancers are certainly left to themselves,” Tirado told CNN.
Tirado is now reportedly suing the City of Minneapolis, the police chief of the Minneapolis Police Department and others. Tai-Heng Cheng, an attorney with Sidley Austin, has taken Tirado’s case pro bono, per CNN.
“The U.S. Constitution is clear: you simply do not shoot journalists covering civil protests,” said Cheng. “It is fundamentally un-American and we brought this lawsuit for Linda because it’s really important, we think, to establish that principle.”
Tirado told CNN that her work is going to change because of her injury, but she will continue her role as a front-line journalist. “There’s absolutely no way this stops me,” Tirado said.