Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Use of Pepper Spray On Peaceful Protesters Is Illegal"

Washington's Blog parses the law

Read it all here

The Use of Pepper Spray On Peaceful Protesters Is Illegal … And Can Seriously Injure Or Kill

A juicy tidbit: "Non-violent protesters may sue police and the municipality of county that employs them under this Federal law, 42 United States Code Section 1983, if they have been pepper sprayed while peacefully protesting, whether or not the protesters were arrested."


beowulf said...

Terrible advice at GW blog to limit lawsuits to West Coast states within 9th circuits. If there's a cause of action in any circuit, a lawsuit should be filed, citing that case as "persuasive authority" (its only "binding precedent" within the 9th circuit).

Oh yeah, Uncle Sam has helpfully provided the standard of care--
In a June 29, 2005, memorandum, Deputy Marshals were provided with the revised use of force Directive, which states that Deputy Marshals may use “non-lethal” force when
they have reasonable grounds to believe that such force is necessary to:
1. protect themselves or others from physical harm,
2. restrain or subdue a resistant prisoner or suspect,
3. make an arrest, or
4. prevent a prisoner from escaping.
The Directive further states that a Deputy Marshal using an authorized non-lethal device should use only the minimum force necessary to control a subject and then should stop using the device.

SchittReport said...


k-street commissioned to undermine OWS.

Anonymous said...

3. make an arrest

Major loophole. You are not threatening anyone, yet this allows the police to assault you if you do not comply.

Tom Hickey said...

As far as I can tell, they were never placed under arrest, nor was anyone threatened with arrest.

BTW, on the kids sprayed was on The Ed Show just now and Ed asked if they were going to sue. He said that they had been contacted by many lawyers offering to represent them and they were now investigating the options. He said he was not interested in damages for himself but rather in setting an example so others would never be subjected to this kind of treatment in the future.

beowulf said...

the key phrase is "minimum force necessary to control a subject", if they can put handcuffs on without using pepper spray, then it isn't necessary to use pepper spray.

googleheim said...

Libertarians are absent and their excuse is that the protestors don't look like them since the protestors don't shower and brush their teeth the same way as they think they should.

Again self styled libertarians evidently.

Anonymous said...

Great. So they can beat you with their batons to see if they need to use pepper spray to handcuff you.

Anonymous said...

So far today Occupy Toronto is being dismantled without violence.

Clonal said...

Interview with the developer of the pepper spray on this incident - "UC Davis Police, if Civilian, Would Be Arrested, Charged with Using Deadly Weapon"