La Mesa protester shot by police projectile speaks out
LA MESA (KUSI) – A La Mesa woman who was shot in the head by a law enforcement projectile during a police protest last month held a press conference Wednesday after she was released from the hospital Tuesday.
Leslie Furcron, 59, was hospitalized in an intensive-care unit in a medically induced coma after she was struck in the forehead with a bean bag round on the night of May 30. Cellphone video and photographs that went viral show Furcron lying on the ground, blood streaming down her face, amid shouting demonstrators attending the protest against police brutality.
Furcron’s family, as well as their attorney Dante Pride, have called for the officer involved to be fired and criminally charged.
La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez said last week that the incident remains under investigation.
Pride said he has reviewed dozens of videos and spoken with scores of people present at the protest outside La Mesa police headquarters and has seen no evidence that Furcron was violent or did anything to justify being shot. Furcron was holding up her cellphone, recording the protest when an officer opened fire, Pride said.
The La Mesa protest came on the heels of protests already taking place nationwide due to the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but the subsequent, controversial arrest of 23-year-old Amaurie Johnson near the Grossmont Trolley station drew major protest efforts to the East County city.
The La Mesa Police Department later announced that no criminal charges would be sought against Johnson, who was originally contacted for smoking in public, then later arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer. The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave.
A GoFundMe.com page created for Furcron exceeded $160,000 by Tuesday afternoon.