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Long Beach Officials Respond To Shooting Of LAist Reporter With Rubber Bullet

Minutes after he was struck in the neck while covering a protest in Long Beach, our higher education reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reported his own injury on social media. (Adolfo Guzman-Lopez / LAist)
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At a press conference this morning, Long Beach's Mayor and Chief of Police addressed the shooting of KPCC/LAist reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez by an officer with a rubber bullet.

"I've personally also communicated with him, apologized to him as well, and we'll look forward to discussing that in the days ahead," Mayor Robert Garcia said.

Chief of Police Robert Luna said he was not aware of the incident — which happened Sunday afternoon near 3rd and Pine streets in Long Beach — until this morning. He said he had urged LBPD's internal affairs investigators to reach out.

"Yes we have a version of what happened, but being in this business for 34 years, there's always two sides to every story," Luna said.

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"I will assure you that the incident will be fully investigated and we'll get to the bottom of what happened," he added.

Guzman-Lopez was interviewing a protester when he was shot. "I talked to him for about a minute and just as I was finishing talking to him — right after I said: 'Thank you,' I heard a pop and I felt something, you know, the bottom of my throat and I saw something bounced onto the ground, and then I ran," he later told KPCC's Larry Mantle.

He said he was shot Sunday "only after I was obviously interviewing somebody. Nobody else in that intersection was doing anything like I was doing there."

"It just doesn't square up with, you know, what is the policy towards using rubber bullets. OK, so you're trying to clear, you're trying to disperse. You're trying to stop people committing violent acts or that sort of thing. I was doing none of that... and I was nowhere near anybody engaged in any kind of, you know, taking, stealing or whatever," he said. He said he was wearing his press credentials at the time he was shot.

In a tweet sent this morning, Guzman-Lopez said an emergency room doctor said his wind pipe wasn't damaged by the bullet.

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Police did not offer information about the identity of the officer who shot Guzman-Lopez, or if the officer would be back on the streets today.


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