BLM protester shot in eye by police officer says exoneration didn’t come as surprise

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – LaToya Ratlieff, who was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet last May during a Black Lives Matter protest in Fort Lauderdale told reporters Friday that she was not surprised the detective who shot her has been cleared of wrongdoing.

“I would like to say that I was disappointed, but honestly, it was expected,” Ratlieff said. “We’ve seen this happen before. We’ve seen this happen too many times, and we’ve seen this happen tremendously when it comes to Black lives.”

While she wasn’t surprised by the outcome, Ratlieff said her heart still dropped when she received the news.

“I felt like I waited so many months, so many months to find out something that I knew was going to happen, but to hear it and to feel it and to know that nothing is going to happen to an officer that could have blinded me -- I could be sitting here right now blind in one eye because of his carelessness,” she said.

Ratlieff said it was also difficult to read about the results of the Internal Affairs investigation.

“To look at the summary and to see some of the statements that the officers were under attack, that there were pipe bombs, that they never experienced anything like this in their lives -- well, what about my experience? I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. I’m never going to forget this experience in my life,” she said.

Ratlieff’s statements come a day after Fort Lauderdale Interim Police Chief Patrick Lynn announced that Detective Eliezer Ramos had been exonerated nearly a year after the May 31 protest.

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