A son of Dale Murphy, the former Major League Baseball player, was struck in the face by a rubber bullet as he joined a protest in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
“Last night, my son was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet while peacefully protesting for justice for George Floyd. His story is not unique,” wrote Murphy, who briefly played for the Colorado Rockies at the end of a career in which he was a two-time National League MVP with the Atlanta Braves. “Countless others have also experienced this use of excessive police force while trying to have their voices heard.”
He went on to write that his son was lucky to avoid more serious injury. “Luckily, his eye was saved due to a kind stranger that was handing out goggles to protesters shortly before the shooting and another kind stranger that drove him to the ER,” he wrote. “Others were not so lucky and will be permanently disabled due to excessive police force.”
Protesters and police clashed in a number of cities across the United States in another night of violence after Floyd died as a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck and three other officers stood by. As he lost consciousness, Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” and called for his mother.
“As terrible as this experience has been,” Murphy wrote, “we know that it’s practically nothing compared to the systemic racism and violence against Black life that he was protesting in the first place. Black communities across America have been terrorized for centuries by excessive police force.
“If you’re a beneficiary of systemic racism, then you will not be able to dismantle it at no cost to yourself. You will have to put yourself at risk. It might not always result in being physically attacked, but it will require you to make yourself vulnerable.”
Denver was under an 8 p.m. curfew and, when protesters began marching after a day of peaceful demonstrations, police used tear gas and flashbangs. By 10:30, the crowd had dispersed, but some protesters were still on the streets, according to Denver’s NBC affiliate.