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St. Louis measure would limit police actions at protests

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ St. Louis aldermen will consider a bill that would limit the way police respond to protests.

Police have drawn criticism for using chemical agents and dispersing crowds in demonstrations since mid-September, when a judge acquitted white former police officer Jason Stockley in the 2011 shooting death of black drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith.

Alderwoman Megan Green's proposal filed this week would repeal an existing ordinance on unlawful assemblies. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri helped draft the bill, which it says would help protect protesters' First Amendment rights.

The ACLU says the bill also limits when officers can use tear gas and pepper spray as a tactic to get people to leave a demonstration. It would also prohibit use of such chemical agents on people when they're restrained.