L.A. says restraining order on LAPD use of batons and projectiles during protests is ‘unwarranted’

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A Los Angeles Police Department officer strikes a protester with a baton in L.A.'s Fairfax District on May 30, 2020. (Matt McGorry)

A Los Angeles Police Department officer strikes a protester with a baton in L.A.’s Fairfax District on May 30, 2020. (Matt McGorry)

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Attorneys for Los Angeles on Tuesday argued against a temporary restraining order to block city police officers from using batons and tactical bullets to control crowds, saying the request was “unwarranted and overbroad” and that police “must be able to respond” to unlawful crowds.

The Los Angeles Police Department used such weapons on protesters at the end of May and in early June, injuring many, and are now being sued for it in federal court by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the Los Angeles Community Action Network. The groups requested the restraining order last week, arguing that a court injunction against the use of such weapons was necessary for their clients and other protesters to feel safe exercising their 1st Amendment rights in the city while their lawsuit is pending.

Asst. City Atty. Gabriel Dermer, in response, said that was not the case, arguing that the LAPD has “facilitated numerous peaceful protests” without using such weapons since the incidents in question occurred and represents “no ongoing or actual threats of any kind” to protesters.

The city and the LAPD believe in the need for “transformative social change with respect to policing and institutional racism” and “support the constitutional right of every American to engage in peaceful demonstrations and protests,” Dermer wrote.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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