TAMPA, Fla. — A former Marine and Army Reservist has filed a lawsuit against the City of Tampa, claiming an officer’s negligence caused him to suffer a severe brain injury during a May protest.
Jordan Coury says memory loss and constant migraines are a new reality several months after being struck by a police officer’s rubber bullet.
The 25-year-old said he attended a rally protesting the death of George Floyd on May 31.
Coury described the tense moments he says an officer shot a rubber bullet into what he calls a peaceful crowd gathered at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
“I never expected it,” said Coury. “We’re on the same team. We’re like brothers. Like, and I have so many friends that are in the force and that are also in the Army as well.”
The lawsuit states Coury was helping guide others to safety when he was struck by a rubber bullet in the back of the head, piercing a hole in the back of his skull.
His attorney said Coury suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“These are lethal, lethal weapons that could kill somebody,” said attorney Brian Giddings. “He’s lucky to be alive.”
The lawsuit accuses the unnamed Tampa Police Officer of using excessive force and states the City of Tampa was, “negligent in failing to vet, train, supervise, and/or direct its officers in how to handle a peaceful crowd in tumultuous times.”
FULL LAWSUIT BELOW:
“It’s hard to have faith in something like that when you’re shot for no reason,” said Coury.
The lawsuit seeks money for damages and Coury’s medical expenses.
“When I first initiated this claim, I got a letter back from Mayor Castor saying that there’s no internal investigation, we don’t have any record of any such incident,” said Giddings.
Officials with TPD and the City of Tampa say it is policy that they do not comment on pending litigation.
Meantime, Coury is struggling daily with the impacts of that rubber bullet, saying he can no longer work and is unsure about his future serving in the United States Army Reserve.
“My whole entire life has changed,” said Coury. “I wish I felt like the same person.”