ACLU Files Lawsuit After Police Use Chemical Irritants During BLM Protest

DC Police

Photo: Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. after multiple protesters were hit with chemical irritants and stun grenades at a protest last August. The lawsuit alleges that the local government and eight police officers implemented the use of irritants and grenades despite local officials banning chemical munitions and less-lethal projectiles nearly a full month earlier.

One of the many people affected by the actions of the police last summer was photographer Oyoma Asinor. He claims he was arrested without cause and detained overnight. When he was released, Asinor says his belongings were not returned for nearly an entire year.

"Mr. Asinor was not involved in any conduct that was unlawful or that could reasonably have been viewed as unlawful," the lawsuit stated.

When describing the incident that took place last summer, Asinor recalls a police officer "holding a gun-shaped weapon attached to a small tank, unleashed liquid containing chemical irritant."

"He felt a burning sensation on this neck and "experienced trouble breathing from the chemical irritant spray," the lawsuit adds.

After being hit with the chemical irritant, Asinor says he "experienced trouble breathing from the chemical irritant spray."

"He was coughing, his eyes watered, and he experienced disorientation," the lawsuit explains.

Unfortunately, Asinor was not the only photographer that endured this treatment by police. Another photographer by the name of Bryan Dozier said an officer picked him up and pushed him towards the chemical irritants as he attempted to move away.

"Mr. Dozier struggled to breathe as he moved through the chemical irritants," the lawsuit states.

"He continued to cough, his nose ran, and he felt burning across his face."

Dozier says that he still displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder when he hears loud noises.

The Metropolitan Police Department has not issued a statement regarding the ongoing lawsuit.

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