Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Seattle Law Banning Crowd Control Weapons

A police officer moves through tear gas deployed to disperse a crowd as Justice for George Floyd Philadelphia Protests continue Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Philadelphia. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on …
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A federal judge blocked a Seattle law Friday night that would prohibit police from using tear gas, blast balls, and similar weapons.

The Seattle Times reported that the law was blocked “even as it was scheduled to go into effect Sunday and as the city awaits a potentially tumultuous weekend of protests with federal agents in the area.”

The report continued:

U.S. District Judge James Robart granted a request from the federal government to block the new law, which the Seattle City Council passed unanimously last month. The U.S. Department of Justice, citing Seattle’s longstanding police consent decree, argued that banning the use of crowd control weapons could actually lead to more police use of force, leaving them only with more deadly weapons.

However, Robart said the issue needed more discussion between officials before the change took effect, adding that the temporary restraining order would be “very temporary.”

“I urge you all to use it as an occasion to try to find out where it is we are and where it is we’re going. I can’t tell you today if blast balls are a good idea or a bad idea, but I know that sometime a long time ago I approved them,” he said.

On Twitter Friday, Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) urged Seattle residents to protest peacefully President Trump’s “making good” on his threats to send federal forces into several other cities:

Also on Friday, Durkan said her city was “looking at every option,” which included charging federal officers if they took actions similar to those in Portland, such as whisking protesters away in unmarked cars.

“We have a lawsuit ready to go to file with the court that if they even start to do actions like they’re doing in Portland, we will ask the federal court to stop them,” she commented during an interview on MSNBC’s All In.

In an effort to stop the crime surge in Democrat-controlled cities, President Trump sent tactical border officers to Seattle on Thursday, according to Breitbart News.

KIRO 7 reported, “The Special Response Team is similar to tactical teams operating in Portland, where violence and protests have raged for nearly eight weeks in the Oregon city. Federal agents have been in Portland for most of July.”


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