ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – In the case of the Jason Stockley verdict, protesters vs. the police, a federal judge has ruled that the St. Louis Police Department must immediately adopt protocols to protect the constutitional rights of protesters.

Tony Rothert of the ACLU of Missouri is calling Judge Catherine Perry’s ruling a win for the people and the First Amendment.

CLICK HERE to read the decision.

Under the ruling, St. Louis police cannot declare an unlawful assembly unless there is an imminent threat of violence; cannot punish people simply for exercising their right to protest; cannot use chemical agents on anyone non-violently protesting; and must issue a clear warning if a person is subject to arrest before one can be sprayed.

The judge heard testimony from protesters who say they were kettled and assaulted from police who say they were under attack and trying to keep the peace.

Judge Catherine Perry says police cannot declare an entire gathering “an unlawful assembly,” just because a few in the general area broke some windows. 
“If someones engaging in illegal activity, you can stop the person engaging in illegal activity, but you don’t get to declare an assembly unlawful and make everyone go home,” says ACLU Legal Director Tony Rothert.

The judge also ordering police to no longer use pepper spray–unless they first warn someone they’re about to be arrested for breaking a law and they resist arrest.

 

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