FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – A city commissioner has apologized to a South Florida woman who was shot in the face with a rubber bullet during a Black Lives Matter protest last year.
Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Ben Sorensen reached out to LaToya Ratlieff on Wednesday.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Joining In The Fight Against Global Pandemic
“I just felt like it was appropriate to reach out and see how she’s doing and talk with her about working together to improve police reform,” Sorensen said.
Ratlieff said it was the first time anyone from the city has said they are sorry for what happened to her last May when she was struck in the eye by a rubber bullet fired by a Fort Lauderdale police officer as a peaceful protest over the killing of George Floyd quickly escalated. Floyd, a Black man, was killed while being arrested by a white police officer in Minnesota last year. His death set off protests around the country.
Ratlieff, 35, suffered a broken eye socket, which required months of treatment.
“I still have some vision issues, specifically some of my upper vision. I still have trouble driving at night. I’m still thankful because it could’ve been me losing my entire eye,” Ratlieff said.
Since the incident, Ratlieff had been asking the City of Fort Lauderdale for an apology.READ MORE: South Florida House Republicans Vote Against President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Relief Package
In a statement, Ratlieff said, “Commissioner Sorensen began our meeting by making the kind of heartfelt apology I’ve awaited for more than eight months. I appreciate that his apology was not simply for what happened to me, but for the ongoing impact it has on my life.”
She said she spoke with Sorenson about police reforms and he updated her on actions the city has taken since the protests.
“We agreed that we will continue to speak and meet, and that we will work together to ensure that activists and organizations on the front lines of the social justice movement will have a voice in the process moving forward. I appreciate Commissioner Sorensen inviting me to his home for a meaningful meeting, and introducing me to his family, including Ginger, their adorable rescue puppy.”
Sorensen also said, “We’ve established a 24/7 hotline for concerns, complaints that members of the community can call at any time. Those were just some of the components,” Sorensen said.
The investigation into Ratlieff’s incident is ongoing.MORE NEWS: Trump A Dominant Force At Conservative Conference In Orlando
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