/  06.08.2022

According to The Associated Press, on Monday (June 6), changes were approved by the Columbus City Council to limit the amount of force that police officers can use on protesters.

The ordinance states that law enforcement will be limited in their ability to use wooden or rubber bullets, tear gas, batons, flash-bang grenades and other equipment on people who engage in nonviolent protests on city sidewalks and streets.

These changes will fall under a part of city law set to be approved this week by council members in Columbus. The move comes nearly two years after the city’s police department faced extreme backlash for reportedly using excessive force without provocation.

In December, the state’s capital paid almost $6 million in a settlement to those harmed by officers while protesting racial injustice brought on by the untimely and violent death of George Floyd. Thirty-two people suffered injuries during this incident.

At the time, a lead attorney on the case named John Marshall said the settlement “mandates that peaceful protestors on city streets and sidewalks cannot be subjected to uses of force, arrests, or dispersal orders except in extraordinary circumstances.” It would also protect journalists and medical personnel who might be on the scene.

The Associated Press added that a federal judge has said officers must clearly present their badge number at all times, even while wearing riot gear. $150,000 has reportedly been approved in order to make this update possible.

In addition to the changes above, The Root shared that House Bill 109 is currently under review by Senate committee members. The bill would create new laws that focus on assaults and vandalisms during rioting.

Following the 2020 protests, sources say the General Assembly also proposed that police officers and other members of law enforcement would be able to sue those who make false injury claims during riots.

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