ACLU requests Virginia police be barred from using irritants

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lawyers from the Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union have filed an emergency request to bar police in the state from using chemical irritants or other devices to disperse protesters.

News outlets report ACLU attorneys argued in a Richmond court Monday that police violated protesters’ constitutional rights to speech by using these devices to disperse a protest outside city hall on June 23.

On Twitter that night, Richmond police said the protests were deemed unlawful because protesters were blocking traffic and entrances to buildings.

A city attorney said barring use of such devices is an impediment to police.

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