Russell Strong, from Denver, Colorado, is suing the city and the county of Denver after his eye was removed and replaced with a prosthetic one following the injury he received last year.

He claims he was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet and was subsequently blinded in his right eye, during a protest about the killing of George Floyd in May.

Strong said he was carrying a sign that read, ‘No Justice, No Peace’, when he was shot and said he did nothing to antagonize police. Police tactics at the protests were called ‘troubling’ by the city’s independent oversight body afterwards.

He said: ‘I’m hoping (this lawsuit) means a chance to review what happened, (and) tell my story.

‘I certainly didn’t go there with the intent of causing mischief, you know what I mean? It was a peaceful protest in the park. I’m holding a peace sign.

‘A lot of people feel like it was about saying, ‘F the police,’ and for me, it’s not about that. It’s about trying to uplift the community and the relationship between the citizens and the police.

‘The police are just as much a part of this community as the citizens, and so, I’m not there trying to have a war between me and the police.’

His lawsuit names an unidentified officer, Officer Doe, as a co-defendant with the City and County of Denver because attorneys and police who investigated the incident have said they’ve been unable to identify the specific person who struck Strong in the face, reports Fox 31.

Russell Strong claims a police projectile hit him in the eye during the protests in May

Russell now has a prosthetic eye in his right eye socket

The Denver district attorney declined the case for criminal charges for that reason.

Strong’s lawsuit added: ‘Without even giving warning to those they promised to serve and protect, Officers in Denver opened fire on the protesters.

‘Defendant Officer Doe took aim, fired, and shot Mr. Strong in the head with a Kinetic Impact Projectile (‘KIP). The impact knocked Mr. Strong to the ground and blood began flowing from his eye socket.’

The suit claims Officer Doe was ’employed by either the Aurora Police Department or the DPD.’

Mr Strong’s attorney, Matt Cron, added: ‘We have every reason to believe that we will be able to identify the officer who shot Mr. Strong and took his eye, but even if not, we’re prepared to hold the City of Denver accountable for its policies and its customs that allowed for this to occur.

‘The problem in this case is that so many officers were using force that it becomes difficult to pinpoint exactly which officer is responsible.’

In December, Denver’s Office of the Independent Monitor released a 69-page analysis of the police response during the protests and found ‘extremely troubling’ police tactics and an inadequate system for tracking when and how officers were using less lethal munitions, like the 40mm sponge grenade, against protesters.

The report also accused some officers of deploying weapons at protesters who posed no physical threats.