St. Louis police want chemical agent restrictions lifted


A close-up photo of police lights by night

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis police are asking a judge to lift restrictions on their ability to use pepper spray and other chemical agents to break up protests.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that lawyers for police filed a 39-page motion Friday in federal court. At issue is a preliminary injunction issued in November 2017 after the ACLU sued on behalf of protesters.

The protesters said police used heavy-handed tactics, including unnecessary use of pepper spray and tear gas, after the acquittal of Jason Stockley. The former white St. Louis police officer had been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting Anthony Lamar Smith, a black drug suspect.

City lawyers argue that the ACLU “inveigled the Court into improvident intrusion into police practices.” The city and ACLU have been ordered into mediation.

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