ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A federal judge could issue a court order restricting when police can use pepper spray or arrest protesters following several days of hearings on alleged mistreatment of Stockley protesters.
Judge Catherine Perry says she’ll decide soon whether to put police under an injunction, limiting when they can use chemical munitions on protesters, or declare an gathering unlawful.
In closing arguments, ACLU attorney Tony Rothert claimed police arbitrarily label protests “unlawful,” and use pepper spray to disperse crowds.
“Pepper spray is the new fire hose,” Rather said. “We all know, we’ve seen in the ’50s and ’60s, where Civil Rights protesters engaging in civil disobedience were literally cleared off the streets using fire hoses.”
An attorney for the city argued that when protesters are smashing windows or throwing bricks, police need flexibility to maintain order and protect life and property.
Judge Catherine Perry says she’ll decide whether to issue guidelines for the police “as soon as possible.”