A judge ruled that Columbus, Ohio, police officers have to stop using excessive force against nonviolent protesters.
A recent example would be the tear gas and rubber bullets that were used on peaceful protesters demonstrating for Ma’Khia Byrant, a 16-year-old young girl who was living in foster care who was shot and killed by officer Nicholas Reardon, The Washington Post reported.
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Last Friday, Judge Algenon L. Marbley of the Southern District of Ohio said that he saw enough evidence that officers applied “random and indiscriminately” force to rattle up protesters.
“Some of the members of the Columbus Police Department had no regard for the rights secured by this bedrock principle of American democracy. This case is the sad tale of police officers, clothed with the awesome power of the state, run amok,” Marbley said, WBNS-TV reported.
The decision is part of ongoing litigation that involves 26 plaintiffs who sued the city in response to the handling of protests in July of last year: pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, batons, and rubber and wooden bullets used on peaceful Columbus, Ohio, protesters.
“We are pleased that the Court recognized the truth of the overwhelming testimony, shocking videos, and heart-wrenching pictures and issued an injunction which protects the people from the police,” said Sean Walton, one of the lawyers for the 26 plaintiffs.
Aggressive policing of protestors is not a problem exclusive to Columbus, Ohio.
Activists in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, are saying police officers are escalating tensions in the Andrew Brown protests, The Hill reported.
There are reports of the streets of Elizabeth City being littered with polices and special units from Homeland Security and officers from other jurisdictions.
The Hill also stated that the cost of aggressive and heightened police presence is $25,000 per day.