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Injuries at protests draw scrutiny to use of police weaponry

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 00:30:29-04

NEW YORK (AP) — In law enforcement, they’re referred to as “nonlethal” tools for dealing with demonstrations that turn unruly.

Examples include rubber bullets, pepper spray, batons and flash-bangs.

But the now-familiar scenes of U.S. police officers in riot gear clashing with protesters at Lafayette Park across from the White House and in other cities have police critics charging that the weaponry too often escalates tensions and hurts innocent people.

An official with the International Association of Chiefs of Police says the tools are necessary when peaceful rallies are hijacked by individuals with a nefarious purpose.