La Mesa

Grandmother Shot by Beanbag During La Mesa Protest Speaks Out After $10M Settlement

A police officer critically shot Leslie Furcron with a bean bag round during a protest in 2020

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It marked one of the largest police excessive force lawsuits in San Diego County history — $10 million — that's how much the city of La Mesa will pay a grandmother after a police officer critically shot her with a bean bag round during a racial justice protest outside the police station in 2020.

"I was just fed up that day," Leslie Furcron said, recalling her emotions outside the La Mesa Police Department building on May 30, 2020. "I watched George Floyd get killed right in front of my face."

Furcron admits she threw an empty can in the direction of officers, but says it never hit anyone or realistically threatened police. But seconds later, from a covered LMPD patio more than 100 feet away, a La Mesa police officer shot her in the head with a bean bag round.

Then 59 years old, Furcron was in the ICU for 11 days and suffered permanent injuries. More than two years later, La Mesa's city council approved the historic civil settlement in a closed meeting.

"I'm ecstatic by it," said Furcron. "It's a lot. I've never been here before."

The grandmother feels victorious, but not entirely justified.

Leslie Furcron was shot with a projectile and blinded in one eye by a La Mesa police officer in 2020, NBC 7's Kelvin Henry reports.

"I don't think it was enough, but it's good enough," said Furcron. "There's really no amount of money that you could give me ... I just wish that it never happened. I thank God that I'm living. But every day is not a good day for me."

In a written statement last week, City Manager Greg Humora wrote, “The city is glad that there is resolution to this very unfortunate incident.”

But Furcron's attorney, Dante Pride, hopes this civil settlement is just the start.

"I implore the DA, AG to look into the facts of this case and determine whether Knudson should still be a police officer," said Pride. "I don't think so."

LMPD said Officer Eric Knudson shot Furcron with a bean bag round from a sheriff deputy's gun. The actual weapon has never been identified.

Knudson never faced criminal charges and has since been promoted to detective.

"In discovery, we found out some stuff that if I was a prosecuting or District Attorney, I would have probably filed charges," said Pride.

NBC 7 reached out to La Mesa's mayor and police chief for comment. No one responded.

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