The Council of the District of Columbia approved an emergency bill on Tuesday that seeks to reform the police in the area and, among other provisions, prohibits the body from using tear gas and rubber bullets.
The legislation, passed unanimously, also prohibits the use of pepper spray against protesters, as well as “less lethal projectiles” such as stun grenades.
In addition, the law also prevents the Metropolitan Police Department from hiring officers who have been dismissed in another jurisdiction or who have resigned before receiving or pending disciplinary action.
The changes approved this Tuesday will be in force for 90 days, as reported by ‘The Washington Post’, but can be extended to 225 with a second vote. The Council must hold public hearings and vote again if they want to make the measure permanent.
Washington Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters from the immediate vicinity of the White House in the context of protests in the United States since the death of African-American citizen George Floyd.
The objective was that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, could approach the Church of Saint John, for which he had to cross Lafayette Park. There, the president photographed himself holding a bible.
While the Mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser, condemned the actions of the Police, the United States Attorney General, William Barr, defended what happened, referring to the fact that the force was used due to difficulties in relocating the authorities, who decided to expand the barrier around the White House. He also indicated that the crowd “was becoming more rebellious.”
In this context, Barr wrote to Bowser on Tuesday to specify that the use of the US Federal Police and National Guard troops in Washington was “necessary” because the riots were “dangerous” and had reached “unprecedented levels”, The CNN television channel has reported.
“Television images of these events, viewed by people across the nation and around the world, conveyed the impression that the United States was about to lose control of its capital,” Barr said in the letter, written in response. to a previous letter from Bowser in which the mayor asked Trump to withdraw troops deployed in the city.
Trump withdrew the Washington National Guard last Sunday, after several days of peaceful protests.
Barr, who has also argued that deploying the police and military forces was a “temporary response to an escalating security crisis,” has noted that “disturbances at government headquarters threatened the safety of law enforcement officers and the operations of the United States Government. “
“Let me assure you that the President shares your interest in returning to a situation where such additional forces are unnecessary to maintain law and order in the district,” Barr concluded.