Man injured in 2020 Providence riot sues police

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A man who lost an eye during the Providence riot in 2020 is now suing the Providence Police Department.

According to documents obtained by ABC 6 News, Eduardo Santos, of Providence, filed a complaint against the City of Providence and several police officials.

Santos’ lawyer said in the complaint that Santos was driving near City Hall with his wife, Lydia Camacho in the earlier morning hours of June 2, 2020 as a large riot broke out in the city.

Camacho was recording the events at Kennedy Plaza as police were reportedly chasing and subsequently arresting a man.

In Camacho’s video, documents allege that Santos “shouted for the police officers to stop the excessive beating of the young black male whom the police officers had seized,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit indicates a Providence police officer, identified as Sean Comella, turned to Santos, raised a less-lethal device in his direction and pulled the trigger, firing a 40mm crushable foam round into his face.

“Santos’s eye and face erupted as a direct result of the LLP which caused blood spatter and body matter from Plaintiff Santos to make contact with [Camacho] and the interior compartment of the vehicle,” reads the lawsuit.

It is alleged that no member of the Providence Police Department rendered immediate first aid to Santos and the incident was not immediately reported.

“As a direct result of the trauma of being shot with the LLP, [Santos] required several surgeries and was admitted to the hospital for 10 days for inpatient care with most of that time in the ICU unit,” court documents said.

Santos’ legal team said the officers involved in the non-lethal shooting and reported malpractice of improper incident logging, as well as administration with Providence police are liable for the alleged use of excessive force, failing to activate their body-cams and documenting uses of force throughout the protests.

A report released by the Attorney General’s Office said Comella’s actions were “legally justified.”

ABC 6 News reached out to Mayor Brett Smiley’s Office and Providence Police for comment and are awaiting a response.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island