South Florida woman shot in face by police officer during 2020 protest reacts to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

'I was just so happy that for all of us that we can just take a sigh of relief,' Latoya Ratlieff says
Latoya Ratlieff.PNG
Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 23:37:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the death of George Floyd.

Watching the announcement with joy is Latoya Ratlieff.

"I was just so happy that for all of us that we can just take a sigh of relief and appreciate this step in the right direction," she said.

Like thousands of other people who walked the streets of towns and cities throughout this nation, and particularly Florida, Ratlieff protested the death of George Floyd.

Her outcry was at a rally in Fort Lauderdale on May 31, 2020. She suffered agonizing pain from being shot in the face with a rubber bullet by Fort Lauderdale police Officer Eliezer Ramos.

LaToya Ratlieff
LaToya Ratlieff looks at a photograph of herself, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Lauderhill, Fla. Ratlieff was hit in the face by a police officer's rubber bullet during a Fort Lauderdale protest over the death of George Floyd on May 31. Protests continue in support of Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

"Luckily, physically, things are a lot better. Still going to a lot of doctor visits," she said.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department cleared the detective earlier this year.

Ratlieff's focus has not only been on Minneapolis but also right here in Florida with the governor signing off on the so-called "anti-riot" bill. It allows law enforcement to challenge budgets, opens cities to liability for poor riot control and creates or strengthens penalties against those it deems rioters.

"It went through the House, went through the Senate, and it was signed so quickly as of this week," she said.

Ratlieff said it is paramount that the movement of highlighting injustice continue, saying the work for justice has only begun.