Journalist On Death Bed After Police Shot Her With ‘Non-Lethal’ Bullets

A freelance photojournalist who lost her eye when police shot her with a foam bullet in 2020 is now receiving end-of-life care as a result of that injury. A professional journalism organization shared this week.

Linda Tirado, 42, “is at life’s end and receiving palliative care,” the National Press Club said in a release, because the strike to her face also caused a traumatic brain injury and corresponding dementia. Police struck her with the supposedly “non-lethal” bullet while she was covering the 2020 anti-racism protests in Minneapolis following the police murder of George Floyd.

“Tirado took all precautions trying to hold the line where police instructed, wearing protective goggles and mask against tear gas, which filled the air,” Emily Wilkins, president of the National Press Club, said. “During the chaotic action, officers aimed a gun firing ‘non-lethal’ foam plastic bullets at journalists including Tirado. The projectiles struck several journalists. Tirado was hit in the eye despite her protective goggles. She lost the eye.”

Over the past four years, the mother of two’s condition has worsened and is expected to soon result in her death, the organization said.

The Minneapolis Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tirado’s condition.

The photo Linda Tirado featured in her viral 2013 piece for HuffPost.
The photo Linda Tirado featured in her viral 2013 piece for HuffPost. Courtesy Linda Tirado

When the shooting drew worldwide media attention in 2020, the photojournalist called on the people outraged on her behalf to turn their ire toward the systemic racism she was covering when police shot her.

“I will not regain sight in my left eye. I will need more surgeries. But I have not been crying for my lost vision; rather, it feels as though my body is reacting to what is happening to my country,” she wrote for The New Republic.

“I have lost half of my vision, but I lack no clarity: There can be no peace without justice, and no justice without full-throated, damningly righteous anger,” she continued. “I am asked over and over again why are people burning and looting, and I wonder what anyone thinks they would do if they spent their whole lives being told they were lesser than and not equal, and then one day they woke up to a police state.”

Tirado also contributed to HuffPost in 2013 and 2014. A piece she wrote entitled “This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense” went viral, and the discussion it sparked about poverty and pregnancy remains relevant today as GOP lawmakers slash access to reproductive care and skewer women’s decision-making. In a follow-up piece, she referred to herself as “the woman who accidentally explained poverty to the nation.”

The National Press Club honored Tirado with its John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award in 2020 following her shooting.

A $600,000 settlement she received from the Minneapolis Police Department was largely absorbed by her medical bills, which continue to accrue, the National Press Club said, and her inability to work or earn an income following the shooting has put immense financial pressure on her family.