Amir Moarefi, a Long Beach ophthalmologist, made his offer via Instagram last week as protests and clashes between demonstrators and police continued throughout the Los Angeles area in response to the death of George Floyd.
“If you or anyone you know has been hurt during the protests, whether hit by police or rioters or shot in the eye with rubber bullets or pepper spray, let me know[,] I will provide free health care and eye care, especially to those without any insurance,” he posted.
The Los Angeles native told the LAist he’s received hundreds of responses. Though the protests have died down, some protesters still have persisting injuries.
Moarefi checks his phone between scheduled appointments and has formed a loose network of doctors to help treat protesters in other states, the news outlet reported. He clarified that he will direct patients to a community clinic or elsewhere for issues that go beyond his scope of expertise.
“The feeling of injustice is what this is all about,” he said. “And this is just more little bits of injustice that people are feeling if they’re peacefully protesting, and they’re getting hurt.”
Injuries against protesters have led to criticism of law enforcement amid claims and videos showing police officers sometimes employing excessive force. Moarefi said he will team up with 11 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to treat people on the street if protests continue through the weekend.
“When I put my head down and I got my pillow at night, I want to know that I’ve done everything that I can to help support a cause that I believe in,” he said.