Judge orders Seattle to stop using tear gas during protests

SEATTLE — Seattle Federal District Judge Richard Jones on Friday granted a temporary restraining order against the Seattle Police Department’s use of tear gas against peaceful protesters.

The temporary restraining order will last for 14 days and is a victory for groups who say authorities overreacted to recent demonstrations over police brutality and racial injustice.

A Black Lives Matter group sued the Seattle Police Department this week to halt the tactics it has used to break up largely peaceful protests in recent days.

The temporary restraining order also prevents officers from using OC spray, also known as pepper spray, and “any projectile such as and including flash-bang grenades, ‘pepper balls,’ ‘blast balls,’ rubber bullets, and foam-tip projectiles.”

The temporary restraining order does not prevent officers from “taking necessary, reasonable, proportional, and targeted action to protect against a specific imminent threat of physical harm to themselves or identifiable others or to respond to specific acts of violence or destruction of property.”

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Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County released the following statement in response to the temporary restraining order:

“As tens of thousands of people were gathering today to march silently and in solidarity against police brutality and misconduct, the U.S. District Court affirmed their right to protest, free from state violence. That is a victory for today. Black Lives Matter demands a justice system that works for us every day. A legal system grounded in racism can never deliver equal treatment. We take this victory and we keep fighting, we keep marching, we keep assembling to demand the seismic changes that are necessary to rid our justice system of institutional racism.”

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report