The man, who has been identified as Balin Brake, 21, was taking part in downtown demonstrations when he was hit by a projectile gas canister. The canister ruptured his eye and left him bleeding.
Fort Wayne Police on Sunday evening said the injury was incidental and not the result of a deliberate attempt to injure the man.
After the incident, Brake took to Twitter to reveal that he is scheduled to have surgery on Sunday, May 31, and he may lose his eye after surgery.
After the surgery, Brake told ABC21 that his damaged eye has been removed, leaving him with just one eye.
Reacting to the incident in a statement released late Sunday, FWPD officials said: “According to our officers on the ground, the protester was still in the area after commands to leave the area were given. Gas was deployed in the area and the protester bent over to pick up the canister to throw it back at officers as many others were trying to do. When he bent over another canister was deployed in the area and that canister skipped and hit the protester in the eye. There was no deliberate deployment of gas to any persons head.”
A woman was also badly injured when police officers fired a rubber bullet at her during a protest. In a photo shared online, a gaping hole can be seen in the middle of the woman’s forehead, with blood streaming down her face.