Judge Rules In Favor Of BLM Group, Bans Police From Using Tear Gas And Pepper Spray During Protests

Written by K. Walker on June 14, 2020

It’s no longer just defunding the police, activists are using the courts to take away their ability to do their jobs.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones issued a two-week ban on the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and flash-bang explosives by Seattle police during protests getting out hand.

This follows a 30-day ban on tear gas issued by the Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan and agreed to by Police Chief Carmen Best, despite the unruly crowds that gathered to protest the death of George Floyd.

On June 8, just two days after the ban, six blocks of Seattle were taken over by protesters and dubbed the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ). The area was separated from the rest of Seattle with fencing, and armed guards stationed to restrict entry. A cardboard sign said, “You are now leaving the U.S.A.” Included in the new Antifastan territory is the East Precinct, a police station that was ordered abandoned by Seattle city council.

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Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News created a mock tourism ad for CHAZ.

Now that there is a six-block commune established in the middle of Seattle, a judge has removed the peaceful methods for the Seattle P.D. to take back their precinct and disperse the crowds.

A judge ruled in favor of a Black Lives Matter group on Friday, banning Seattle police from using tear gas, pepper spray and flash-bang devices to disperse crowds at protests.

The ruling comes after a tense few weeks between law enforcement and protesters and legally reinforces a similar temporary ban by the city’s Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seatle Police Department Chief Carmen Best.

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones issued the two-week ban pointing to the dangers of using “indiscriminate” tactics that could harm peaceful protesters or innocent bystanders and claimed the use of force is unconstitutional.

“Because they are indiscriminate, they may even spill into bystanders’ homes or offices as they have done before,” Jones wrote in his ruling.

He also pointed out the potential for tear gas and pepper spray to induce coughing or other reactions that could also spread the coronavirus.

Black Lives Matter Seattle-King’s County and the ACLU chapter in Washington state had brought the suit before the court describing the aftereffects of “aggressive” police tactics in quelling crowds. The plaintiffs said that protesters suffered from “burning eyes from pepper spray, difficulty breathing from tear gas, and bruises from foam-tipped projectiles lobbed at them by police.”

Despite the protests turning violent, including protesters hurling objects at police, and, in one instance, a man driving his car through a group of protesters and shooting one, calls to defund the police grew.

Judge Jones said that the use of tear gas and pepper spray to disperse crowds should be reserved for targeting a single agitator or criminal, and only in specific circumstances.

…Jones’ ruling said the police tactics fail to target “any single agitator or criminal.”

Jones went on to add that police can use tear gas and pepper spray in very specific circumstances that include “violent or life-threatening activity” and only if the use of force is “targeted” at a particular agitator.
Source: Fox News

So, what happens when you take away the peaceful tools for police officers to use to disperse crowds? What remains for them to use? They’re already complaining that the police are being “aggressive” but fail to mention their own behavior that is just as aggressive. We should have high standards for police to intervene physically, but they shouldn’t be forced to endure abuse at the hands of mobs, either.

These “peaceful protesters” are hindering the police from doing their jobs. At the same time, many of them are using disgraceful, anti-cop rhetoric to lump all law enforcement as bad.

This is a dangerous thing.

When we’ve lost the rule of law, what do we have left?

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll