Akron temporarily bans use of nonlethal force on protesters
Apr 22, 2023, 8:45 AM | Updated: 9:12 am
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in an Ohio city have agreed to temporarily bar the use of tear gas, pepper spray and other types of nonlethal force against nonviolent protesters, a move that comes after it was sued following a protest over a grand jury’s decision to not indict police officers who shot and killed a Black motorist.
Akron officials and lawyers for the Akron Bail Fund — a group that supports protesters — reached the agreement late Friday after a federal court session that lasted for several hours. Bail fund officials had sought a temporary restraining order to block the use of nonlethal force, but the two sides instead agreed to a 14-day restriction that allows the litigation and negotiations to continue.
The legal action came about after a protest Wednesday in which police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters after the gathering was deemed an unlawful assembly.
Akron has seen a few protests after a state grand jury on Monday Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man who fired at least one round at officers during a car and foot chase last summer,.
Walker was shot 46 times in a hail of gunfire that lasted just under seven seconds and roiled yet another city amid heightened tensions with police over the killing of a Black man that started with a routine traffic stop.