October 29, 2020

IMPD To Change Policy On Tear Gas Use During Protests

Demonstrators flee tear gas at the corner of New York Street and Capitol Avenue on Sunday, May 31. - FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Demonstrators flee tear gas at the corner of New York Street and Capitol Avenue on Sunday, May 31.

FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News

An agreement has been reached between Indy10, Individual protesters and the city of Indianapolis that limits the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s use of chemical agents against protesters.

ACLU Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk announced the change during a news conference Wednesday. It protects the rights of people to engage in peaceful protests and their right to be free from unreasonable use of chemical and other riot control agents.

"The right to protest is fundamental to our democracy and enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This settlement ensures that Indianapolis community members are able to go out and express their opinions, without fear of retribution from police departments that are meant to protect and serve those very same community members," Falk said.

The ACLU of Indiana filed the suit on behalf of Indy10 Black Lives Matter and individual protesters who were attacked with tear gas and other weapons by IMPD while demonstrating against police brutality earlier this year.

In a statement, the Indy10 Black Lives Matter said, "The right to protest has been a fundamental principle of Indy10 since its founding days, and the settlement reached with the guidance of the ACLU of Indiana and the consent of individual protesters underscores the power of the people. Demonstrators in mourning deserve safe and secure places to gather without the threat of state-sanctioned violence, especially prematurely and without provocation. We will continue to hold elected officials and the police force accountable for what is said and done to community. It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. By any means necessary."

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