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Oregon city joins others in curbing tear gas, police tactics

SEATTLE — Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler on Saturday ordered the city’s police to cease utilizing a standard sort of tear fuel besides as a final resort in life-threatening conditions, making it one among a number of cities which have began proscribing legislation enforcement tactics in response to widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Wheeler issued a press release saying he shares group issues about using CS fuel, particularly throughout a respiratory-illness pandemic. Critics have known as on the Portland Police Bureau to completely ban using CS fuel on protesters.

“I strongly believe that gas should not be used to disperse crowds of non-violent protestors or for general crowd management purposes,” Wheeler tweeted. “It should only be used in response to violence that threatens life safety.”

Seattle took the same step Friday, with Mayor Jenny Durkan asserting a 30-day moratorium on using CS fuel for crowd management — although pepper spray and different less-than-lethal measures stay accessible to officers.

Officials in Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., have proposed bans or limits on using tear fuel, and Minneapolis, the place Floyd was killed, has halted using choke holds and neck restraints just like the one which killed him. California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered police there to cease coaching officers in choke holds, and Bellevue, Washington, Police Chief Steve Mylett on Friday banned his officers from utilizing controversial neck restraints besides when lethal drive is required.

In Denver, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson on Friday imposed restrictions on using chemical and less-lethal weapons by police, saying officers there had didn’t police themselves when it got here to utilizing them. His order, as he modified it on Saturday, requires using such weapons to be permitted by a supervisor with the rank of lieutenant or larger — and solely in response to violence or property destruction personally witnessed by the supervisor.

The choose additionally ordered police to not goal the non-lethal weapons at folks’s heads and groins. Videos of police firing pepper spray at protesters who had been yelling however not appearing violently “showed that the officers had ample time for reflection and were not dealing with dangerous conditions,” he stated.

Denver police stated the order was largely in keeping with its use-of-force coverage and that it might comply.

Police in Seattle had been equally criticized for overreacting to protests final week. Video from final Monday evening confirmed police attacking principally peaceable protesters with pepper spray after an officer tried to seize a pink umbrella from a demonstrator on the opposite aspect of a steel barricade.

The city has promised an intensive evaluation of the division’s actions. More than 12,000 complaints poured into Seattle’s police accountability workplace.

Portland’s announcement got here a day after the mayor stated police would not use a “long-range acoustic device,” or LRAD, to disperse protesters. The gadget can emit high-pitched, loud frequencies and may trigger listening to harm.

Police used it early Friday to disperse a small group of protesters who set fires, threw projectiles and pointed lasers at officers’ eyes after most peaceable protesters had gone house.

Portland police arrested about 20 folks late Friday and early Saturday, alleging offenses that included disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer.


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