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Dallas Police Prohibited For 90 Days From Using Tear Gas During Protests, Judge Rules

Protesters gather in front of Dallas City Hall on June 2.
Associated Press
Protesters gather in front of Dallas City Hall on June 2.

A U.S. district judge has signed off on a 90-day injunction barring the Dallas Police Department from using what's called "less-than lethal weapons" — like chemical agents and flashbangs — to disperse protesters who are not posing an immediate threat.

The agreement also says the department can no longer fire impact projectiles, like rubber bullets, for any purpose.

Plaintiffs' Attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel says she's seen temporary restraining orders given for this type of force in the past, but the Dallas ruling is different.

"For people who don't know, a preliminary injunction is actually more and longer and actually, we believe, provides more relief than even a restraining order which is what we've seen in most cities," Tuegel said.

The agreement is in effect until Sept. 9.

The Dallas Police Department issued a statement Friday afternoon, saying it respects the judge’s decision.

“Our officers will comply with the preliminary injunction – prohibiting the use of ‘less lethal’ weapons during peaceful protests,” the department says. “We support the First Amendment and our residents’ right to exercise their civil liberty.”

The department says officers will continue to monitor and patrol protests to ensure that protesters are safe, as well as businesses and city property. The department says it will implement policies to "address police brutality and inequalities that communities of color endure due to systemic racism and injustices."

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Dallas and the police chief on behalf of people injured in recent protests.

The city hadn't issued a comment on the lawsuit as of Friday afternoon. 

This story has been updated to include comment from city and police officials.