A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction limiting the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s use of projectiles and chemical agents at protests, finding that it has indiscriminately fired them at peaceful protesters, legal observers and journalists.
U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee’s ruling May 28 stemmed from a petition for a temporary restraining order filed in September that focused on protests against police violence and the shooting of Dijon Kizzee, whose killing by sheriff’s deputies Aug. 31 in Westmont spurred daily protests in front of the South L.A. sheriff’s station.
Gee found that the group of 13 plaintiffs — including protesters injured at marches against police violence last summer — had submitted “overwhelming evidence” showing that at five demonstrations in August and September, deputies had used force on protesters, legal observers and journalists “who were not committing any crime,” with the exception of not following dispersal orders on two occasions.
“They are targeting everybody and that’s what’s wrong,” said Jorge Gonzalez, an attorney representing the plaintiffs. “There are a lot of cases over time that have said you cannot blanket the use of less-lethal ammunitions against all the people that were there. You have to single out the ones that were committing some sort of wrong.”
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