FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): New video evidence contradicts the Fort Wayne Police Department’s account of how a racial injustice protester lost his right eye during Memorial Day Weekend protests that turned chaotic.
Video released by the Washington Post seems to support 21-year-old Balin Brake’s account that he was hit in the right eye by a tear gas canister, fired by police, as he was walking away while police tried to break up demonstrations on Saturday, May 30th. He lost the eye as a result.
The FWPD had said Brake was bending down to pick up another gas canister to throw at police at the time that he was hit, that it bounced into him, and that there was no deployment of gas to any person’s head.
“According to our officers on the ground, the protester was still in the area after commands to leave the area were given. Gas was deployed in the area and the protester bent over to pick up the canister to throw it back at officers as many others were trying to do. When he bent over another canister was deployed in the area and that canister skipped and hit the protester in the eye. There was no deliberate deployment of gas to any person’s head,” said an official FWPD statement issued at the time.
Find the Washington Post’s video here. Brake’s specific incident occurs at 2:12 in the video.