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Richmond judge turns down ACLU's bid to curb tear gas use on protesters

June 30, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A request by the ACLU for an emergency court order aimed at curbing the use of tear gas and similar means of dispersing crowds of protesters was denied Tuesday.

As a result, they say, the police violated the protesters’ constitutional rights to speech, assembly and protest and chilled the future use of free speech. Snukals, however, wrote that the injunction sought by the ACLU, if granted, would require the court to dictate crowd control measures to police and other measures that would unnecessarily burden police and jeopardize public safety. "On the other hand," the judge wrote, "plaintiffs have the option in the future to protest without unlawful force, without blocking roadways, and without disrupting or jeopardizing public peace and order. "Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, said Tuesday that the case will go forward and possibly to trial to get a final ruling on whether police are acting in compliance with the state law on unlawful assembly. The standards for winning such an emergency ruling are high and Snukals decided the ACLU did not meet them, she said. "We're in the very early stages of this pretty complex litigation," Gastañaga said.

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