La Mesa

LMPD Releases Video of Grandmother Shot by Beanbag Round During May Protest

The department also identified the officer involved in the incident

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The La Mesa Police Department released body-camera footage of the moment an officer fired a beanbag round at a woman, striking her in the face, during a late May protest against police brutality fueled by the killing of George Floyd and a controversial arrest of a Black man by LMPD days earlier.

Officials also identified the officer involved in the incident, a move activists have been requesting since shortly after the woman was injured.

Warning: The video contains graphic imagery and language.

Leslie Furcron, 59, was in a crowd of protesters demonstrating in front of the La Mesa Police Department on May 30 when she was fired upon by Detective Eric Knudson, who had taken a position on a raised porch of the building.

LMPD's video, which included officer-worn camera footage and a breakdown of its investigative findings, said Furcron appeared to throw an object at San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies in the parking lot of the police station.

Seconds later, Knudsen fired and Furcron fell to the ground. The beanbag round was fired from approximately 96 feet away, according to LMPD.

After the shot, Knudsen can be heard saying, "That was the guy who's throwing things."

Protesters immediately surrounded Furcron. One can be heard yelling back in the direction of officers, "Why are you shooting?"

LMPD included several photos and video clips showing rocks and other objects being thrown at officers positioned around the station and at the building's windows. The department also detailed acts of arson and vandalism on the property.

Furcron's attorney Dante Pride said she was struck in the forehead by what he described as a "flying blackjack'' and a "metal projectile beanbag,'' leaving her hospitalized in an intensive-care unit in a medically induced coma.

The court filing could force the police departments hands in releasing the name of the officer who shot the non lethal round

Last month, Furcron filed papers in San Diego Superior Court in an effort to force the police department to publicly identify Knudsen. The petition stated that Furcron suffered "multiple facial fractures,'' had not yet regained sight in her left eye and would "face a lifetime of recovery from the injuries.''

NBC 7's Niala Charles explained how a peaceful protests turned aggressive in La Mesa Saturday night.

The petition alleges that the La Mesa Police Department declined to disclose records that included the officer's name following a California Public Records Act request from Furcron's attorneys, citing an ongoing investigation and findings that releasing the name could endanger the officer's safety.

LMPD Chief Walt Vasquez issued a statement along with the video release:

"Please know that I continue to pray for Mrs. Furcron in hopes that she continues to heal and makes a full recovery with her family at home. Rest assured, the men and women of the La Mesa Police Department are committed to providing quality and professional police service to the community. It is my hope that we will continue to heal the wounds, nurture an environment of open communication, and make La Mesa a safer place to live."

Furcron and her attorney have publicly stated that they want Knudsen to be criminally charged. The San Diego County District Attorney's Office will review LMPD's investigation and determine if Knudsen is criminally liable, LMPD said.

Leslie Furcron addressed the public for the first time since being shot with a bean bag round by La Mesa police.

The department's Internal Affairs unit and the department's use-of-force coordinator are also reviewing the incident to see if Knudsen breached department policy.

Knudsen, a 12-year veteran of the force, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending results of the investigation.

Leslie Furcron, 59, made her first public statement on June 10, 2020, since being released from the hospital for injuries suffered when La Mesa police shot her with a bean bag round at a protest.
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