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Leslie Furcron $10 Million La Mesa Protest Settlement

City of La Mesa Pays Leslie Furcron $10M after Being Shot in the Head with Bean Bag Round at Protest

March 27, 2023

Nearly three years after the La Mesa protests, Leslie Furcron was awarded $10 million after a La Mesa Police Department (LMPD) officer shot her in the head with a bean bag projectile. 

Furcron, a grandmother, was with a group of protesters on May 30, 2020, when the bean bag that was shot at her by police hit her in the head. She ended up in the intensive care unit in a medically-induced coma, and subsequently lost vision in one eye

Investigations into the matter revealed that the officer who shot Furcron, Eric Knudson, did not have proper training to use the gun, as it belonged to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. 

Furthermore, the non-lethal bean bag gun went missing during the investigation, and has yet to be found. In January 2021, the San Diego District Attorney and La Mesa police cleared Officer Knudson of any wrongdoing. 

Furcron’s attorney, Attorney Dante Pride of The Pride Law Firm, issued the following statement in response to the La Mesa protest settlement:

“Ms. Leslie Furcron suffered horrific, life-changing injuries at the hands of the LMPD, under circumstances that were criminal at worst, and grossly negligent at best. The City of La Mesa has taken the first steps in helping the community move forward by providing some financial relief for the damage its officer caused to its community member.

Upon first blush, the $10 million dollar settlement seems like something significant; and is perhaps the largest non-death excessive use of force settlement in San Diego County history. But in the context of the real harm done to Ms. Furcron — the gruesomeness of which played out on Facebook Live for the entire community to witness — $10 million feels pyrrhic. 

It is a victory, but for victims of police misconduct, these ‘victories’ cannot continue to be only monetary.
Justice must also be reformative, demonstrative, and in some instances, penal. Ms. Furcron’s full cup of justice includes holding the individual officer accountable for his egregious conduct and changing the use of force policies regarding these dangerous projectiles.

We look forward to engaging with the City of La Mesa, its legislators, and the community to this end.

Finally, Ms. Furcron extends tremendous gratitude and thanks to the community for truly saving her life and for the tremendous outpouring of support. Although it was just her on the pleadings, the community made sure we knew that we were never alone."

The City of La Mesa also issued a statement, saying, "The City is glad that there is a resolution to this very unfortunate incident. This claim was handled by the City of La Mesa’s insurance claim provider Public Entity Risk Management Authority."

In another statement, then La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez also wished Furcron a full recovery, and said he wants to heal the wounds and make La Mesa a safer place to live.

About Dante Pride

Dante Pride has been representing Leslie Furcron since the beginning of the La Mesa bean bag lawsuit, and is the founding partner of The Pride Law Firm in San Diego, California. A graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and the University of San Diego School of Law, Mr. Pride has a passion for advocacy and defending the rights of individuals. 

Mr. Pride founded The Pride Law Firm on the idea that, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Mr. Pride exercises meticulous attention to detail and zealous representation to protect his client’s rights and eradicate injustice using the court system. 

Contact a Civil Rights Attorney

Violations of any of a person’s basic civil rights can be a dangerous thing, because it often means it can happen to any citizen in our community. As mentioned, the full distribution of justice means holding individual officers accountable, as well as improving the policies of government agencies and departments. 

If you need representation for issues involving the police or other governmental bodies, contact The Pride Law Firm at (619) 516-8166. We have dedicated our careers to upholding the rights of citizens and making our communities safer places to live.

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