DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Dallas officials have agreed to a 90-day ban on the use of tear gas and other less-lethal police crowd-control weapons against peaceful demonstrators.
U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay approved late Thursday a consent decree in which Dallas Police agree not to use smoke bombs, flashbangs, pepperballs, Mace or other chemical agents against those protesting peacefully.
They also agree to not fire such impact projectiles as rubber bullets, bean bags or sponges.
The preliminary injunction will remain in effect until September 9 unless extended, amended or dissolved by the judge.
Tasia Williams and Vincent Doyle sued the city and police after rubber bullets injured them during two separate Black Lives Matter marches in Dallas.
The demonstrations are a reaction to the killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer.
According to their civil rights lawsuit against the city and police, Doyle suffered a shattered left cheek and impaired vision in his left eye during a May 30 march, and Williams was left bleeding and handcuffed after suffering a massive contusion while part of a crowd that occupied the Margaret Hunt Bridge over the Trinity River on June 1.
“Many other people were also severely injured by these ‘less lethal’ bullets in Dallas … including a 26-year-old Brandon Saenz who permanently lost his left eye and a young woman who was shot in the forehead while walking home from a grocery store,” the lawsuit stated.
In a statement, the Dallas Police Department said it “respects the judge’s decision and our officers will comply with the preliminary injunction — prohibiting the use of ‘less lethal’ weapons during peaceful protests. We support the First Amendment and our residents’ right to exercise their civil liberty. Officers will continue to monitor and patrol the protests to ensure that protesters are safe, as well as the businesses and the city of Dallas as a whole.”
The statement also said the department is a “proponent of police reform.”
“In the coming days and months, we will implement new policies to address police brutality and the inequalities communities of color endure due to systemic racism and injustices. DPD is committed to bridging the gap with all of our residents and will uphold our oath to protect and serve the City of Dallas,” the department said.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)