BLM Sues Seattle To Pick Up The Tab On Their Protest Gear
It seems like Seattle has been more than accommodating when it comes to protesters. They allowed the whole CHOP Zone to happen and have plans to defund the police by about 50%. But some BLM protesters feel that this is not enough. Five protesters are suing the city claiming they want to be reimbursed for having to buy protective gear in order to protest. They feel that they should not have to buy expensive armor just to exercise their freedom of speech. Or they could just listen to the police and only partake in the lawful peaceful protests...
"The five plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that the purchase of helmets, gas masks, protective clothing, goggles, gloves, boots, umbrellas and other gear they say are needed to fend off police pepper spray, less-lethal projectiles and other crowd-dispersal tools has impinged on their civil right to peacefully protest.
All five — Jessica Benton, Shelby Bryant, Anne Marie Cavanaugh, Alyssa Garrison, and Clare Thomas — say they were the victims of “indiscriminate” police violence during protests on Capitol Hill on June 25. They claim that repeated use of force by SPD during more than six weeks of civil unrest over systemic racism and police brutality against people of color has made it impossible to exercise their right to gather and protest without personal protective gear, which isn’t cheap.
“Because protesters now must purchase expensive equipment to be assured that they will be able to protest safely, the indiscriminate use of weapons by SPD implicates equal protection,” the lawsuit alleges."
"The Seattle City Attorney’s Office will “look into these new claims and intend(s) to defend the City in this matter,” said spokesperson Dan Nolte."
Police are only using such force when the protests turn into riots and the crowd then needs to be controlled. It seems likely that these protesters are not the most compliant if they are buying up body armor in order to peacefully protest. How hard is it to disperse when police tell you to do so... I agree peaceful protesters should not need body armor, but police do not act without cause. If the protest gets violent it's time to go home, that is the end of that lawful protest. A few bad apples can quickly turn a peaceful protest into a riot and those are not legal gatherings. I question why they would buy body armor in the first place.