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'I Don't Want This To Happen Again': Protester Who Lost Eye From Minneapolis Police Projectile Reaches $2.4M Settlement

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The City of Minneapolis will pay more than $2 million to a man left blinded in one eye after being shot by police with a less-lethal round during a protest.

Soren Stevenson lost his eye from the projectile that struck him. As part of a settlement, the city will pay him $2.4 million.

Stevenson joined with protestors in the days following the murder of George Floyd. The recent master's graduate from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs felt compelled to be part of a peaceful protest.

"Looking around, kind of marveling just at where I was, what I was seeing, what was happening," Stevenson said. "And then I was shot."

Instagram video shows the moments after he was struck by a police projectile, meant to be used as a less-lethal round. It forever changed his life.

"This morning I woke up and wiped blood out of my eye, and I've done that every morning for the past two years," Stevenson said. "It impacts me every day, and it will continue to impact me every day."

Soren Stevenson
Soren Stevenson (credit: CBS)

Stevenson required surgery for a facial fracture, and the removal of his eye. He says he also suffered from PTSD.

He sued three officers, including the officer his attorneys believe fired the shot that took his sight in his left eye.

"Defendant Bauer admitted that he was one of the potential shooters," attorney Katie Bennett with Robins Kaplan said.

The City of Minneapolis will pay Stevenson $2.4 million, while admitting no liability as part of the settlement.

"I just want them to act. I don't want this to happen again, and I don't want city funds to be wasted on lawsuits," Stevenson said. "I just want to be safe."

The attorneys are still looking for the city to pay their legal fees, which is likely in the seven-figures.

In the nearly two years following George Floyd's murder, the city has paid at least $29.6 million in settlements for officer conduct. There are several more pending lawsuits against the city for injuries that happened during protests.


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