A pregnant Missouri woman is now blind in her left eye after police fired a bean bag round into the car her boyfriend was driving during protests in Ferguson earlier this week.
Dornella Conners told KMOV she found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time Tuesday. That’s when police surrounded her boyfriend De’Angelas Lee’s car and fired the non-lethal round at the vehicle.
“They pulled up while we were coming towards the street, De’Angelas was trying to get away, they blocked us from the side, front and back,” she said.
Police say they were responding to reports that shots had been fired from the gas station amid the sometimes-violent protests that day.
Those demonstrations sprang up as people took to the streets voicing their opposition to a grand jury’s decision not to indict white police officer Darren Willson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black teenager.
Conners said Lee was trying to drive away from the mayhem when the officers showed up and fired on the car.
The bean-bag round shattered the passenger side window, covering Conners’ face with glass. Now blind in her left eye, she says her vision is blurry in her right eye as well.
“I will have justice for what they did to me,” Conners wrote on Facebook Thursday, according to the New York Daily News. “But I’m happy I’m alive.”
Police contend that Lee drove towards them and may have been trying to run them over, prompting one officer to fire the shot.
Conners’ dad, Donnell Conners, isn’t buying that explanation.
“I’m very upset, very disappointed with tactics that they used trying to get control of the situation,” he said. “I understand tough job, I understand that it was chaos, there was no reason to fire upon an innocent person sitting in a vehicle.”
Police admit Lee wasn’t the only one causing trouble at the gas station that day, but they still want to talk to him. They have issued a warrant for his arrest.
Sixteen people were eventually arrested from in front of the gas station, but police still don’t know who fired the reported gunshots.