Federal Judge Blocks Seattle’s Anti-Police Law, Urges Leaders To Reconsider ‘Where It Is We Are Going’

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

  1. A federal judge has blocked a new law that cleared the Seattle City Council which barred police officers from using pepper spray and other non-lethal measures.

The measures are often used to control riots or subdue non-compliant persons where the use of force is not needed.

The Associated Press reports U.S. District Judge James Robart, however, struck down the law which was unanimously passed last month.

From the report:

The U.S. Department of Justice, citing Seattle’s longstanding police consent decree, argued that banning the use of crowd control weapons could actually lead to more police use of force, leaving them only with more deadly weapons.

Robart said the issue needed more discussion between the city and the Justice Department before the change went into effect Sunday. Ruling from the bench, just before 9 p.m., Robart said the temporary restraining order he granted would be “very temporary.”

The judge urged the anti-police city officials to reexamine their goals and to think clearly about where they “are going” with these changes.

“I urge you all to use it as an occasion to try to find out where it is we are and where it is we’re going,” Robart said via the Associated Press. “I can’t tell you today if blast balls are a good idea or a bad idea, but I know that sometime a long time ago I approved them.”