Minneapolis City Council, in a near-unanimous vote on Friday, approved a resolution calling on law enforcement to stop using tear gas, rubber bullets and other non-lethal ammunition during protests, according to reports.
The 11-1 vote took place on the sixth consecutive night of protests at the nearby Brooklyn Center, where 20-year-old Daunte Wright was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Sunday.
Minneapolis was also bracing for potential unrest when Derek Chauvin’s murder trial comes to an end. The former Minneapolis cop is charged with the death in custody of George Floyd.
Council member Jeremiah Ellison said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and police tolerated “indiscriminate assaults, gassings and arrests of protesters” just to protect a police station, Minneapolis FOX 9 reported.
Ellison added that he didn’t think the ammunition was helpful in dispersing the protesters.
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“They’ve always kind of dived into more chaotic situations and they’ve always created an atmosphere for people to be… enraged,” he said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Police and National Guard personnel deployed to the Brooklyn Center used tear gas and non-lethal ammunition to prevent protesters from invading the city’s police headquarters this week, FOX 9 reported.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called the council’s resolution “unnecessary and misinformed.”
“But it also emboldens the individuals who … are here to cause harm and chaos and destroy our city,” Arradondo said.
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The resolution does not actually affect law enforcement’s ability to use tear gas and ammunition, according to the Star Tribune.
Council chairwoman Lisa Bender called the vote “a city council’s statement of values.”
Council member Linea Palmisano, the only one not to vote, said she feared law enforcement would change tactics amid protests when officers were already trained on the current protocol would be a “failure of the government. leadership”.
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Meanwhile, a Minnesota federal judge issued a restraining order on Friday prohibiting police from arresting or using force against journalists during protests.
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