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Woman shot with bean bag round in the face during La Mesa protest makes public statement

Posted at 9:42 AM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 16:36:44-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) – Leslie Furcron, the woman who was shot in the face with a bean bag round during a May 30 protest outside of La Mesa police headquarters, addressed the media Wednesday.

The 59-year-old Furcron and her attorney, Dante Pride, are slated to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. in La Mesa.

"I'm a law-abiding citizen," said Furcron in her brief statement to reporters. "I never came out here that night [La Mesa protests] for this to be a part of my story."

Furcron was released from the hospital on Tuesday after having been placed in a medically induced coma with a breathing tube.

She was initially hospitalized after a La Mesa officer fired a bean bag round into a crowd of protesters. Furcron was struck in the forehead.

Her attorney described the bean bag as a canvas sack filled with buckshot, or lead pellets.

It's unclear at what range Furcron was struck but her attorney said,"she was too close for them to use that round if it sticks in your forehead."

Furcron was among the thousands of people in front of the police department, where a demonstration against police violence started peacefully later turned to chaos and officers began to deploy tear gas and bean bag rounds.

LMPD Chief Walt Vaquez said last week that the incident was under investigation and the officer involved had been identified. Vasquez issued the following statement Wednesday:

"I am sincerely thankful that Ms. Furcron has been released from the hospital and is able to now heal at home with her family. I pray that she has a speedy and full recovery. I can assure Ms. Furcron, her family, and the public that this unfortunate incident will be fully investigated, to include an in-depth look at our crowd control practices.

The men and women of the La Mesa Police Department work tirelessly to provide quality and professional police services for all members of our community. Our hope is that we will all come together to heal the wounds, nurture a culture of open communication, and make the City of La Mesa a better and safer place to live."

Pride told 10News that he believes a third party should be investigating the case and the officer who fired the bean bag should face criminal charges if appropriate.

"There should never be a point in time where an officer should shoot a metal projectile bean bag from an elevated position down on a crowd. That is dangerous and it can kill people and it almost killed Ms. Furcron," Pride said.