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Crime News Black Lives Matter

Police Racial Bias Trainer Has ‘Potentially Permanent Injuries' After Being Shot By Cop During Protest

Derrick Sanderlin’s testicle was ruptured after a police officer shot him in the groin with a rubber bullet.

By Daniel Egitto
San Jose Protest

A racial bias trainer for the San Jose Police Department has “potentially permanent injuries” after being shot in the testicle by police during a protest against police brutality, the San Jose mayor’s office confirmed Tuesday.

Derrick Sanderlin, who is black, has spent the past several years as an organizer and educator working to bridge gaps between racial minorities and police, The Mercury News, a San Jose newspaper, reported. 

On May 29, San Jose's first day of protests over the death of George Floyd, Sanderlin was among a crowd of protestors at San Jose City Hall when the police began shooting rubber bullets, ABC7 News reported. News footage from the station shows Sanderlin standing with his hands up several yards in front of officers in riot gear.

“I stepped into the line of fire, and a couple of cops said, ‘Move.' I said, with my hands up, ‘I can’t do that, please don’t do this,’" Sanderlin told The Mercury News. "Another cop came up behind them, pointed directly at me and said, ‘Move.’”

He shook his head, and the officer pointed his riot gun at Sanderlin’s groin and fired, Sanderlin said.

He crumpled to the ground.

Friends originally took Sanderlin home — but when the pain continued, he went to the emergency room to undergo surgery. The surgeon confirmed that the rubber bullet had ruptured his testicle, Sanderlin told The Mercury News.

When the San Jose police chief, Eddie Garcia, learned what had happened, he called Sanderlin and issued a statement to the press.

“Derrick has been a real leader in our communities’ efforts to reduce bias and discrimination through dialogue. I assured him we will be investigating this incident,” Garcia said, according to ABC7.

Sanderlin’s injuries are “potentially permanent,” the San Jose mayor’s office said in a press release Tuesday.

Sanderlin and his wife, Cayla Sanderlin, have been married for four years, ABC7 reported. They’d been starting to think about having kids — but doctors say they’re not sure whether that will be possible now.

“I just started weeping at the thought of that. You know, we do want kids and we’re very close to having kids,” Cayla Sanderlin told ABC7.

The Sanderlins are represented by attorney Sarah Marinho and plan to file a claim against the city and the police.