A federal judge has partially granted a request for a temporary restraining order on the Denver Police Department's use of less-lethal weapons against protesters.
The order, which was handed down Friday night, ban officers from using any kind of chemical weapons or projectiles against peaceful protesters unless an on-scene supervisor at the rank of supervisor or above "specifically authorizes such use of force in response to specific acts of violence or destruction of property that the command officer has personally witnessed."
The order also states:
- Kinetic Impact Projectiles (“KIPs”) and all other non- or less-lethal projectiles may never be discharged to target the head, pelvis, or back.
- KIPs and all other non- or less-lethal projectiles shall not be shot indiscriminately into a crowd.
- All officers deployed to the demonstrations or engaged in the demonstrations must have their body-worn cameras recording at all times, and they may not intentionally obstruct the camera or recording.
- Chemical agents or irritants (including pepper spray and tear gas) may only be used after an order to disperse is issued.
- Any and all orders to disperse must be followed with adequate time for the intended audience to comply, and officers must leave room for safe egress. If it appears that the intended audience was unable to hear the order, the order must be repeated prior to the use of chemical agents or irritants.
Read more guidelines here.
A class action complaint filed Thursday in Denver District Court claimed Denver's police department cannot be trusted with the use of less-lethal weapons against protesters, and that its officers use them without regard to the constitutional rights of protesters and bystanders.
The document says officers have targeted journalists, ordinary citizens and medics with their use of less-lethal weapons. It lists several examples of times when officers allegedly misused the devices and provides videos of recent incidents during the George Floyd protests as evidence.
Read more from 9News here.