Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and other protest groups are asking a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction to forbid the Los Angeles Police Department from using baton strikes and “rubber” bullets to control crowds during future protests, arguing that such use violates demonstrators’ constitutional rights and has caused a plethora of injuries.
With protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police bringing calls to end police brutality, lawyers for the protesters on Wednesday asked a federal judge to end LAPD practices that they say have fallen short of their constitutional duties.
“The LAPD has used so-called rubber bullets and batons indiscriminately to disrupt and disperse protesters with many serious injuries resulting,” attorney Paul Hoffman wrote on behalf of BLM-L.A. and more than a dozen protesters injured by police officers. “The images of baton-wielding LAPD officers and protesters’ injuries unacceptably increase the cost of public participation in these important exercises of First Amendment rights.”
The injunction effort comes as part of a class-action lawsuit filed earlier this month by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Black Lives Matter and Los Angeles Community Action Network, which accuses the LAPD of repeatedly misapplying the law to clear the streets. The lawsuit says demonstrators’ constitutional rights were violated and many were left bloodied and bruised.
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