- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2014

A pregnant woman said she wasn’t protesting Tuesday when St. Louis police shot her in the face with a bean-bag round, causing her to lose an eye.

The father of 24-year-old Dornella Conner said his daughter and her boyfriend stopped at a BP gas station in Ferguson early Tuesday to fill up, NBC News reported. A grand jury had just decided Monday not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, sparking a night of chaos and violence in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb.

Police were reportedly responding to gunshots fired in the area when they encountered Ms. Conner and her boyfriend, De’Angelas Lee, who was in the driver’s seat, NBC reported. A crowd of about 20 or 30 people had reportedly gathered at the scene.

Ms. Conner said her boyfriend was trying to maneuver around police, while police said he was driving at them, NBC reported. Bean-bag rounds were fired into the vehicle, shattering the front passenger-side window and hitting Ms. Conner in the face, her father, Donnell Conner, said.

“If a vehicle is coming at you, wouldn’t you take aim at the person who is driving the vehicle, not at the passenger’s side?” Mr. Conner asked.

St. Louis County police arrested Ms. Conner’s boyfriend and charged him with second-degree assault on law enforcement. Court papers allege Mr. Lee admitted that he had driven his car directly at the officer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Ms. Conner wrote on Facebook that she and Mr. Lee were not protesting or causing a disturbance that morning and that they had just stopped at the BP to get gas and snacks before heading home. She said the police cars pulled up and blocked her boyfriend’s car, the Post-Dispatch reported.

“For my daughter to be shot in the face and lose her eye is uncalled for,” her father said.

Mr. Conner said surgeons had to pull about 20 pellets from his daughter’s face. She lost her left eye and is having trouble focusing with her right, he said.

“She’s just trying to stay strong,” Mr. Conner said.

He admitted that his daughter and Mr. Lee had been in Ferguson late Monday night “just to be there.”

“Like the young people do, in support, like kids do, but no violence, not looting. She just wanted to be there,” he said, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Ms. Conner has two children and one on the way. Her unborn child was reportedly unharmed in Tuesday’s incident. 

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