A federal judge in the city of Seattle temporarily suspended the use of tear gas and pepper spray by police officers in peaceful protests on Friday night Saturday. That reports The Seattle Times.
The judge considers it proven that the Seattle police used disproportionate force during the Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd's death. According to the judge, some protesters will most likely stay at home for fear of police brutality. This has also violated the freedom of expression of thousands of protesters.
"At times the Seattle police disproportionately used less deadly weapons without being challenged," the judge said. This would be apparent from video images, among other things.
In addition to the use of tear gas and pepper spray, violence should not be used in any other way against the protesters. In the case of looting and vandalism, the police should go after the instigators alone, without involving peaceful protesters.
The temporary ban applies for at least two weeks.
"Police do not agree with protesters"
Seattle, like many other cities, has been protesting racism and police brutality for several weeks. According to the judge, the police officers would act violently towards the protesters, because they disagree with their reason for protesting. "The police cannot hinder orderly, peaceful protests because they disagree with the message," the judge said.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has said he disagrees with the crackdown by Seattle police. "It is impossible to expect progress if the city tries to silence protesters through excessive force," said Durkan.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump called on representatives of the city to intervene and to take their city back from the protesters. If not, he will "do it himself," said the president.