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Protesters Sue D.C. Police Over Tactics During Racial Justice Protests In 2020

Excerpt from DCist| Read the entire story here.

Three protesters are suing the Metropolitan Police Department over its alleged use of non-lethal weapons and projectiles like stinger grenades, rubber bullets, and flash bang devices against racial justice protesters in the summer of 2020.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court, the three protesters — a D.C. resident, a Virginia resident, and a Connecticut resident — say they were injured by those weapons during different protests stretching from the end of May to August, causing injuries ranging from bruising and contusions to mental anguish and emotional damage.

“MPD and its officers intentionally and repeatedly, over many months, opened fire on peaceful protestors with barrages of maiming munitions, deployed into crowds of people indiscriminately and causing injuries to persons engaging in constitutionally protected First Amendment activities,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and its Center for Protest Law & Litigation on behalf of the three protesters.

[…] “The D.C. MPD has operated with impunity, violently attacking peaceful protesters demanding police reform,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the executive director of the PCJF. “The MPD will continue to injure the residents of and visitors to the nation’s capital as long as they think there are no consequences. People engaged in free speech activities in D.C. remain at high risk. This lawsuit exposes a pattern of violent, cruel, and indiscriminate use of weapons against peaceful protesters clearly indicating that the MPD saw their ‘targets’ as ‘enemy combatants’ rather than people engaged in First Amendment protected activity in pursuit of police reform.”