Detective cleared after shooting Fort Lauderdale protester with rubber bullet

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Eliezer Ramos has been exonerated, nearly a year after he shot a woman in the face with a rubber bullet during a Black Lives Matter protest.

Fort Lauderdale Interim Police Chief Patrick Lynn held a news conference Thursday afternoon, saying it was not the detective’s intent to harm LaToya Ratlieff during the May 31 protest.

“The internal affairs investigation determined that it was not Detective Ramos’ intent to strike Miss Ratlieff. Detective Ramos’ actions warranted an internal review. Based on that and the external expert’s review of the incident, Detective Ramos is exonerated,” Lynn said in front of Fort Lauderdale City Hall.

In June, Ratlieff, of Delray Beach, addressed the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. She spoke for about five minutes about the incident.

Before she spoke, video was played showing the intense moments when the detective shot Ratlieff in the face with a rubber bullet.

At the time, Ratlieff said she still had little to no vision in her right eye. She said she had yet to receive an apology from the detective who shot her, the department or the city.

Since the May 31 incident Ramos has said that Ratlieff was not the intended target of the rubber bullet. It was aimed at shooting someone that was behind her that was throwing gas canisters at police.

On Thursday, Lynn extended an apology to Ratlieff. “On behalf of the men and women of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, I want to express my sincerest apologies for the experience that you have had with our police department,” Lynn said.

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