Breaking News
More () »

City of La Mesa pays woman hit, blinded by bean bag $10M

Leslie Furcron was awarded $10 million after she was hit in the head with a bean bag projectile by La Mesa Police Department officer.

LA MESA, Calif. — The La Mesa City Council settled Leslie Furcron's case against La Mesa Police, awarding her $10 million dollars.

Furcron was in a group of protesters on May 30, 2020 when she was hit in the head by a bean bag that was shot at her by police.

Furcron ended up in the ICU, in a medically induced coma and lost vision in one eye.

CBS 8 also found that the officer who shot Furcron, Eric Knudson, was not properly trained on the gun because it belonged to San Diego Sheriff's Department. 

The beanbag gun in question went missing during the investigation and still hasn’t been found. Knudson was cleared of any wrongdoing in January 2021 by the San Diego District Attorney and La Mesa police, who determined he fired to protect nearby officers. 

La Mesa police said the protests - which started out peaceful - devolved into violence looting and arson before Furcron was hurt. 

In a video statement, then La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez wished Furcron a full recovery, adding he wants to heal the wounds and make La Mesa a safer place to live.

CBS 8 reached out to the City of La Mesa and La Mesa Police for comment on the settlement. The following is the City of La Mesa’s statement:

"The City is glad that there is a resolution to this very unfortunate incident.
This claim was handled by the City of La Mesa’s insurance claim provider Public Entity Risk Management Authority."

In a statement to CBS 8, Furcron’s attorney Dante Pride says, 

“Ms. Leslie Furcron suffered horrific, life-changing injuries at the hands of the LMPD, under circumstances that were criminal at worst, and grossly negligent at best. The City of La Mesa has taken the first steps in helping the community move forward by providing some financial relief for the damage its officer caused to its community member.

Upon first blush, the $10 million dollar settlement seems like something significant; and is perhaps the largest non-death excessive use of force settlement in San Diego County history. But in the context of the real harm done to Ms. Furcron - the gruesomeness of which played out on Facebook Live for the entire community to witness - $10 million feels pyrrhic. It is a victory, but for victims of police misconduct, these “victories” cannot continue to be only monetary. Justice must also be reformative, demonstrative, and in some instances, penal. Ms. Furcron’s full cup of justice includes holding the individual officer accountable for his egregious conduct and changing the use of force policies regarding these dangerous projectiles.

We look forward to engaging with the City of La Mesa, its legislators, and the community to this end.

Finally, Ms. Furcron extends tremendous gratitude and thanks to the community for truly saving her life and for the tremendous outpouring of support. Although it was just her on the pleadings, the community made sure we knew that we were never alone."

WATCH RELATED: La Mesa woman shot in the head with bean bag round at protest speaks out (2020).




  1. DOWNLOAD THE CBS 8 MOBILE APP | iPhone | Android  

  1. CBS 8 ON SOCIAL MEDIA | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube 

Before You Leave, Check This Out