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US: LAPD officer said to suffer serious eye injury from laser

An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department said he lost vision in his right eye, suffers migraines and has had trouble balancing for at least two months after having a laser aimed at his eye on July 16 2020.

Officer Kyle Rice was on a call in the Little Tokyo area of downtown Los Angeles when someone unrelated to the call aimed a laser from a fourth-floor balcony of an apartment building. He told NBC Los Angeles he felt his right eye was on fire.

A 45-year-old suspect was arrested and later released from jail. As of September 10 2020, no charges were filed as the L.A. District Attorney's office said it did not have evidence in the case.

Due to his symptoms, Rice cannot drive. He is seeing eye specialists and neurologists, and does not yet know if the injury is permanent.

On September 4 2020 the LAPD police chief sent a memo to officers telling them to "adjust their vision away from the laser", and that laser eye protection would be provided. The memo also noted "The use of a laser itself shall not presumptively constitute a threat that justifies an officer's use of deadly force" (emphasis in the original).

From NBC Los Angeles