23-year-old filmmaker Joins Black Lives Matter in New Lawsuit Against LAPD Officer that shot Protest
23-year-old filmmaker JAMAL SHAKIR will join civil rights attorney CARL DOUGLAS and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles co-founder DR. MELINA ABDULLAH to announce a new lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and Shakir’s uncle LAPD POLICE OFFICER II ERIC ANDERSON after the latter ordered his nephew shot with projectiles during a protest in downtown Los Angeles last summer.
Jamal Shakir had a chance encounter with his uncle on May 29, 2020, when he attended his first BLACK LIVES MATTER protest. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police, he was drawn out of his Spring Street apartment by the energy pulsing through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, where thousands of people had gathered in support of the BLM movement.
Shakir grabbed two phones—one for recording and one to keep talking to his friends on FaceTime—and went downstairs where he joined the crowd as it made its way north.
Just minutes after he joined the march, the joyful experience took a turn for the worse. As police officers attempted to corral the crowd, and as Shakir continued filming from what became the skirmish line, he spotted a familiar face behind a protective face shield: his LAPD officer uncle. Shakir called out to him.
“I asked Eric if he was serious and he just stared at me for a second and then told me to go home,” Shakir recalls. “With no facial expression, no nothing, he told me to go home.”
Shakir didn’t go home. Instead, he kept pressing his uncle: How could a Black man be on that side in the fight? What would Anderson’s father, Shakir’s grandfather, think about the officer’s role in the protests?
Shakir claims that’s when his uncle pointed his baton and directed one of the officers to shoot at him with a nonlethal projectile. A projectile hit Shakir’s hand, knocking his cellphone to the ground. Shakir says that when he bent over to pick it up, another projectile struck him in the buttocks. Scared and bleeding, Shakir rushed to the hospital, where he checked in under an alias, worried that police might be looking for him.
“Not one shot, but two shots,” Shakir claims. “I was definitely targeted.”
“That Anderson would direct that his own nephew be shot twice even with rubber bullets, though he was peacefully protesting, should send chills through us all,” Douglas says of Shakir’s allegations. “It speaks volumes about how far we still have to go as citizens of this great city before seeing true reform.”
Douglas continues, “Never in my 40 years as a civil rights lawyer have I ever encountered so stark a tragedy as a police officer using excessive force against his own blood.”
Shakir, Douglas, and Dr. Melina Abdullah will announce a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and Officer Eric Anderson Tue., May 11 at 12:30 p.m. in front of LAPD Headquarters.