ACLU, Indy10 file lawsuit against Indianapolis for using ‘chemical weapons’ against protesters

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Editor’s note: This article was updated to make it clear that IMPD says they never used rubber bullets despite the ACLU’s claims.

INDIANAPOLIS – ACLU of Indiana and Indy10 Black Lives Matter filed a lawsuit against the City of Indianapolis.

They argue the use of chemical agents and projectiles for crowd control violates the first amendment.

In a statement, the legal director at the ACLU of Indiana says “excessive use of force against protesters chills free speech, and widens the rift of distrust between communities and the police that are sworn to serve them.”

In the lawsuit, the ACLU says the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department deployed tear gas and used rubber bullets and batons against demonstrators who were protesting against police brutality and for racial equality following the death of George Floyd.

However, IMPD says they never used rubber bullets on protesters.

“City leadership must commit to no further harm being done to demonstrators, and to ban the use of excessive force, including pepper pellets, tear gas and flashbang grenades, as well as condemn and discipline officers who destroy demonstrator’s medical supplies. The onus for repairing harm is on city leadership and IMPD, and they would do well to lending their efforts towards policy reform and addressing the use of force policies as well as holding officer’s accountable.”

Indy10 Black Lives Matter

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The complaint can be found here.

According to the complaint, a young baby was among the protesters exposed to tear gas on May 30, and a witness said the baby was foaming at the mouth.

We asked IMPD for a statement in response to the lawsuit, and they sent us this:

Out of respect for the judicial process, we do not comment on litigation.

Office of Corporation Counsel

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