As we all know, for weeks now protests have taken place to raise social awareness – equality for all. The protests have centered on the Black Lives Matter movement, and eradicating systematic racism and police brutality. As to be expected, law enforcement has been very active during this period, and unfortunately at times has felt the need to use various forms of force to quash what it has defined as dangerous protest/ demonstration behavior. One such method of force has been the use of tear gas. Tear gas is a chemical weapon that causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and blindness. In the eye, it stimulates the nerves of the lacrimal gland to produce tears. Law enforcement uses tear gas to get crowds to quickly disperse and move.
Recently, in light of boisterous complaints from both citizens and law makers alike, several Washington law enforcement agencies have chosen to no longer use tear gas to disperse protesters. Friday, the Washington State Patrol said that it will no longer use tear gas on demonstrators during the coronavirus pandemic. This announcement came after both the cities of Seattle and Olympia banned the use of tear gas claiming it was unhealthy to do use during the pandemic. Interestingly, WSP is actually taking its position on the non-use of tear gas a step further, by stating it won’t use tear gas ‘until further notice’ … which clearly is a sign that it is not just limiting the directive to the pandemic.
The decision to ban tear gas has come at a time that many feel that method of crowd control is antiquated and dangerous. This is why some lawmakers in Washington’s legislative body are now urging a review of WSP’s entire training regimen for demonstrations; the head of WSP has also said that he supports a call to systematically reform policing (as a whole) in the wake of these recent protests.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, or have been arrested in Seattle, don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.