BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A protester accused of throwing rocks at officers during a downtown protest over the death of George Floyd was apprehended after being shot with a 40mm less-lethal round, according to court documents.
The round was used on Avion Hunter because he had already pushed his way past an officer as he fled from police and was wearing baggy clothing “which could easily conceal weapons,” the newly-released reports filed in Kern County Superior Court say.
Struck on the right side of the hip, the 24-year-old Hunter fell and was taken into custody shortly afterward, according to the documents. He had a 3-inch purple contusion on the front right side of his hip, the filings say.
Hunter, Andres Garcia, 18, and a 16-year-old boy were each arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks at and injuring police officers during a protest early June 1 outside the Bakersfield Police Department. Hunter and Garcia each face a felony charge of assaulting a peace officer, plus several misdemeanors.
It’s unclear if the juvenile has been charged as most Juvenile Court proceedings are not made public.
The three were each accused of ignoring lawful orders to disperse at about 2 a.m. and throwing softball-sized rocks, injuring three officers, according to the documents.
When questioned by police, Hunter said he threw coffee during the protest but didn’t remember throwing rocks, the documents say. He said he ran from officers because he had to go to work and didn’t want to go to jail.
An investigator wrote in the documents that there is a video on YouTube that shows Hunter throwing rocks at officers.
Garcia admitted to throwing what he described as a “small rock” at officers then leading them on a short chase, the documents say. The juvenile denied throwing rocks.
The local protests are among many nationwide that have been calling for changes to law enforcement policies after Floyd, who is black, died when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for roughly eight minutes. Four officers have been charged in Floyd’s death.
The protests locally have mostly been peaceful, but there have been several arrests, most of them on the charge of refusing to disperse from an unlawful assembly.