On March 26, three Missouri police agencies agreed to lessen their use of tear gas after lawsuits alleged that the chemical was used excessively during the Ferguson protests back in November. Better now that never.
The three suits were ultimately dismissed by U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson but according to Reuters, will “retain jurisdiction through 2017” to ensure the agencies comply to the reformed usage of tear gas. One major agreement includes that police give fair and verbal warnings and a sensible amount of time to vacate, for protestors and demonstrators. This should be especially exercised during “non-criminal activity.” The agencies will also pay $2,500 in legal costs.
The Ferguson protests were both peaceful and sometimes turned violent, in response to the shooting of Michael Brown and non-indictment of Darren Wilson. The presence of tear gas was notorious in news coverage, with images of individuals laying in the street crying or being held by other activists gasping for air and being relieved by milk and water (which helps to soften the stings of the gas).