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Fort Lauderdale Detective Eliezer Ramos Cleared Of Wrongdoing In Shooting Of Woman With Projectile At Black Lives Matter Protest

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The video that played out across the nation showed Black Lives Matter Protester LaToya Ratlieff being hit with a foam projectile in May at a protest in Fort Lauderdale.

"Detective Ramos is exonerated," said interim Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Patrick Lynn. Detective Eliezer Ramos was cleared of wrongdoing after an internal affairs and independent "use of force" investigation.

Ramos is the Fort Lauderdale Police officer who fired that projectile.

Ratlieff's attorney, speaking on her behalf, said the investigation was never about finding the truth.

"This investigation was incomplete. It was a sham investigation that was clearly geared toward making sure there was a determination that detective Ramos's conduct was justified," said Ratlieff's attorney Michael David.

According to Interim Chief Lynn, Ratlieff was not the intended target.

"Detective Ramos identified and targeted an individual who had hurled a projectile at our officers with the intent to cause them harm," he said. "The internal affairs investigation has determined that it was not Detective Ramos's intent to strike Ms. Ratlieff."

An independent "use of force" expert outlined in his report that Ratlieff was right next to a man, known as the "Unidentified subject."

Pictures purporting to show that man hurling a tear gas canister back at police.

It goes on to show Ratlieff beginning to move as the foam projectile is fired. That's when she was hit in the head.

Her attorney argues police should have never fired gas canisters or used force at all. "There is no reason to use rubber bullets against peaceful demonstrators who are choking on gas and they're in a place they have a right to be," Davis said.

Interim Chief Lynn offered an apology, "On behalf of the men and women of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, I want to express my sincere apology for the experience you have had with our police department," he said.

"I think we still had hope that the right thing would be done," said Ratlieff's attorney, "So Ms. Raflieff is very disappointed but not surprised that justice was not done."

Click here to see the internal affairs report and the independent "use of force" investigation.

At Thursday's news conference the interim police chief did not take questions citing the possibility of future litigation.

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