Derrick Sanderlin, a community activist who for years has trained police in San Jose, California, about anti-bias, was hit in the groin by a rubber bullet last week during a George Floyd protest, according to ABC 7 News.
Sanderlin underwent emergency surgery for a rupture, and before he did, doctors told him he may no longer be able to have children, according to his account. “The doctor had let me know before the operation that there’s no way of fully telling until you try to have kids,” he told the station.
Sanderlin said he walked into a line of fire after seeing police shoot riot guns at young protesters from close range.
“I really just couldn’t watch it anymore,” Sanderlin said. “And just kind of made like a parallel walkover, put my hands up, and just stood in the line of the fire and asked them to please not do this.”
Video of the scene from ABC 7 shows him standing in front of police with his hands up and police firing on him several times, one round hitting him in the groin. Sanderlin called being hit “the most painful experience.”
He and his wife Cayla have hired an attorney who is preparing a claim against the city and the police. “They were aiming for a body part that is prohibited when using those type of riot guns. You’re not meant to aim at the groin or the head ever,” attorney Sarah Marinho told ABC 7.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said in a statement: “Derrick has been a real leader in our communities’ efforts to reduce bias and discrimination through dialogue. I assured him we will be investigating this incident.”