A photojournalist has been left permanently blind after she was shot while covering the protests in Minneapolis sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Linda Tirado says she was shot by a rubber bullet fired by police as she was photographing the protests in Minneapolis.
Protests have been held since video emerged of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of African American man George Floyd in custody. Just minutes after he was declared dead.
Peaceful protests led to violent scenes as police officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds of protesters while buildings were damaged and several left injured.
Photojournalist and writer Linda Tirado had traveled to Minneapolis to cover the protests when she was hit.
“I put on my goggles and respirator and ran into the gas,” she said referring to the tear gas which she says police were firing at protesters before the curfew had started.
“I was lining up a photo when I felt my face explode,” she added in an article published by NBC News.
“My goggles came off and my face was suddenly burning and leaking liquid, the gas mixing with the blood. I threw up my arms and started screaming ‘Press, I’m press.”
She added: “Protesters took my hands and guided me to their medics, who put a bandage on my lacerated eye and drove me to the hospital.”
After surgery Linda learned that she had been left permanently blind in her left eye, not the eye she uses to look down the camera lens so she believes she can continue her career, but is discovering how the loss is affecting her sight overall.
“I can still see flowers and sunsets, just maybe I won’t be able to tell how far away they are,” she said, as per News.com.au.
Linda, who is a freelance journalist best known for her book “Hand to Mouth”, said she took one day off before writing about the incident.
She added that she would: “keep reporting from Minneapolis until we figure out how to get me and my car home cause I can’t drive anymore”.
This violence has to stop but more importantly change needs to happen to ensure everyone is treated fairly at the hands of and in the eyes of the law, regardless of the color of their skin.
Please share to wish this brave journalist Linda a speedy recovery and hope she can continue to highlight the inequalities in our society moving forward.