U.S. judge bans tear gas in peaceful protest
A U.S. judge has temporarily banned the city of Seattle police from using tear gas, pepper splash, and blaze explosives against tranquil dissenters. According to the judge, their use was disproportionate.
The past few days have seen demonstrations in the city centre against racism and police brutality, following the death of George Floyd. The police utilized poisonous gas to scatter the demonstrators.
The judge argues that the police can intervene if a demonstration leads to looting, but not to disturb peaceful protest. According to him, the right to free speech is jeopardized if people stay at home because they fear police brutality.
The judge raised the question whether these weapons are unconstitutional because they are used against entire groups, rather than specific suspects. “Because they have a random effect, even surrounding houses or offices can be affected.”