Judge rules Detroit Police can’t use batons, gas or rubber bullets on protesters

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A federal judge ruled that Detroit police officers cannot use batons, shields, gas or bullets against protesters for at least the next two weeks.

U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Michelson issued a ruling Friday night partially granting a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit filed by activist group Detroit Will Breathe against the City of Detroit and Detroit Police Department.

In the order, Michelson ruled that the city cannot use “striking weapons, chemical agents, or rubber bullets” against the protesters who do not pose a physical threat to the safety of the public or the police. Officers also cannot use chokeholds against the protesters.

“The Court recognizes that police officers are often faced with dangerous and rapidly evolving situations while trying to enforce the law and maintain the safety of the public. And it is important that police officers have non-lethal options to use to protect themselves and the public when necessary,” Michelson wrote. “And any possible benefit police officers could gain from deploying chemical agents, projectiles, or striking weapons against demonstrators who pose no threat and are not resisting lawful commands is outweighed by the irreparable harm peaceful protestors would face.”

Michelson ruled in part that police officers using excessive force does violate the protesters First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Citing different videos as evidence, Michelson wrote it “establishes that at least some Plaintiffs have a likelihood of success on their claims that the DPD used excessive force against them.”

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