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Columbus Police Prohibit Use of Non-Lethal Force During Peaceful Protests

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against Columbus police on Friday, prohibiting police from using tear gas, pepper spray, wooden bullets and other so-called “non-lethal force” against non-violent protesters.

In a ruling in favor of 26 protesters who claimed to have been brutalized by officers during protests last year, U.S. District Chief Justice Algenon L. Marbley wrote that some officers “had no respect for rights guaranteed by this fundamental principle of American democracy. This affair is the sad story of police officers, clothed in the awesome power of the state, go on a rampage. “

Marbley, who opened his 88-page decision on Friday with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., also banned police from inflicting “pain or punishment to deter non-violent protesters” – those who “chant, verbally confront the police, seated, holding hands. approaching the police, occupation of streets or sidewalks and / or passive resistance to police orders. “

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