Adams Files Bill Outlawing Police Chemical Agents
By Cash Michaels
During the recent peaceful demonstrations spurred by the police killing of George Floyd, police officers in Charlotte literally trapped protesters on all sides of a parking garage, and then used tear gas and pepper spray on them.
A minister caught in the melee confirms that the attack by CMPD was “unprovoked.”
U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12), who represents Charlotte - Mecklenburg in Congress, was not pleased.
“The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, as well as police departments across the country, should immediately and permanently end the use of tear gas,” Rep. Adams declared shortly afterwards. “Weapons that are illegal in war should never be used on American soil, especially against our own people."
This week, Adams, still angry about both the Charlotte, and the Washington, D.C incident where federal officers also used chemical agents to break up peaceful demonstrators, put her lawmaking where her mouth is, and introduced “the Right to PROTEST (Protect Real Objectors Taking Exception to Systemic Transgressions) Act.”
"Across our country, chemical agents are being used on protesters who are predominately peaceful,” Rep. Adams said in a statement. “Entire groups of protesters are being made to choke on gas, as well as being subjected to pepper balls and pepper spray, for the actions of a few protesters.”
"Over the past month, protesters were often the victims of indiscriminate force. On many occasions, they couldn’t breathe."
"The Right to PROTEST Act makes such indiscriminate use of chemical agents a federal crime, holding all police departments nationwide accountable. We cannot lose the trust of the public by inflicting indiscriminate punishments without judge, jury, or trial," Rep. Adams concluded.
The bill has several important cosponsors, including Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
“Troops are banned from deploying tear gas and chemical agents against enemies in war, and yet we are still using it here at home - that is unacceptable,” Rep. Maloney said. “I am proud to join Rep. Adams on her bill to stop law enforcement from indiscriminately using these tactics on Americans demonstrating their First Amendment rights to peacefully protest.”