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Dallas Police Chief Issues Restrictions On Use Of Tear Gas, Projectiles

Dallas Police Department

The Dallas Police Department announced new restrictions on the department's use of non-lethal tools, specifically the use of tear gas and projectiles.

In an updated general order, Chief Renee Hall revised the department's policy on the use of the non-lethal tools that were used by officers during protests in Dallas in June.

According to a DPD statement, Chief Hall states that tear gas will no longer be used to control or deter peaceful demonstrations. Pepper balls and foam bullets will no longer be deployed into crowds.

The revised rules do not apply to criminal acts such as burglary, vandalism, or violence against people, property or attacks on police.

"SWAT must continue to have reasonable and necessary tools in its continuum of force options," Hall said in the statement. "But there will now be limits on their appropriate use. They can be used to control violence but not peaceful demonstrations."

Police reform groups and residents have been calling for changes like this since in recent weeks, since demonstrations began nationwide following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A Dallas group called Texas Organizing Project met with Chief Hall to discuss policy changes including not arresting protesters and to stop using these non-lethal tools.

Earlier this month, Chief Hall announcedthat the department will now release videos when police shoot people or are accused of using excessive force within 72 hours of someone being hurt or dying. The policy also applies to deaths in police custody.