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Dallas man loses eye to "non-lethal" police round during George Floyd protest, attorneys say

Man hit in eye with police round at protest
Man hit in eye with police round at protest 02:33

Dallas — Brandon Saenz was in a crowd protesting police brutality Saturday when he says he became a victim of it. 

"All I heard was a boom. I got hit," Saenz said. 

"I put my hands up, and I put my hand on my eye, and then I took off running," he said. 

The 26-year-old said he did nothing to provoke being shot with a non-lethal sponge round, but as a result, attorneys say, he lost his left eye, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reports

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Brandon Saenz CBS Dallas-Fort Worth

"It is ironic that a protest about excessive use of force and police brutality ends with excessive use of force and police brutality," said Jesuorobo Enobakhare, who chairs the Dallas Police Oversight Board. 

Protesters have called for the Police Oversight Board to resume regular meetings that stopped during the coronavirus shutdowns. Next week it will. 

On its agenda will be votes on whether to investigate how the Dallas Police Department handles protests, as well as an incident that happened Monday night when hundreds of protesters walked onto the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. 

CBS DFW said it heard bangs and saw smoke, and saw a protester being carried away. "She was flash-banged by police officers for walking peacefully," said the person helping her from the scene.

Dallas Police Oversight monitor Tonya McClary, who reports to the board, said her office has seen a surge in complaints in the last two days.

"Our voicemail is almost full. We're still going through emails. What we've been able to get through right now is about 100," she said.

Some cases, like Saenz's, have been fast-tracked and are already under investigation. 

McClary said some complaints against officers may be tossed out. Others could lead to discipline. The most serious cases could result in criminal investigations of officers involved.

She said her office will independently review the department's decisions and, if it disagrees with any, can launch its own investigation.

She and the board will also be able to look at the bigger picture and recommend any policy changes for the Dallas Police Department as a whole.

The board is asking for photos, videos and first-hand accounts from the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge protest.

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