'Eyeball exploded': Rubber bullet blinds photojournalist

A photographer and writer documenting protests in Minneapolis has said she's been left permanently blind in her left eye after being shot by a rubber bullet fired by police.

Linda Tirado was photographing the protests in Minneapolis when she was shot in the face with what's believed to be a rubber bullet fired by police.

She said protesters took her to hospital after the police shot her, giving her medical supplies and acting as her eyes after her own became bloodied and swollen.

After surgery, Ms Tirado learned the incident had left her permanently blind in her left eye.

Linda Tirado says she is now blind in her left eye after being shot by police at protests in Minneapolis. Picture: Linda Tirado via Twitter
Linda Tirado says she is now blind in her left eye after being shot by police at protests in Minneapolis. Picture: Linda Tirado via Twitter

"What we think happened is I took a rubber bullet to the face," Ms Tirado wrote on Twitter.

"It exploded my eyeball, which has now been patched back together but who knows if it'll need more surgery. My vision is gone no matter what it winds up looking like scar wise."

Ms Tirado said it wasn't her "photography eye" so the incident shouldn't end her career.

"I can still see flowers and sunsets, just maybe I won't be able to tell how far away they are," she said.

She quickly learned some of the other things she may struggle with now that she's lost vision in her left eye.

While her eyeball has been "exploded" her sense of humour appears to have survived largely intact.

Ms Tirado said she'd take a day off before writing about the incident, and said she planned to "keep reporting from Minneapolis until we figure out how to get me and my car home cause I can't drive anymore".

Ms Tirado is a freelance journalist, best known for her book Hand To Mouth, which expands on a viral article she wrote for the Huffington Post about why her and other "poor people's bad decisions make perfect sense".

Originally published as Protest photographer's eyeball 'exploded'


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