While the ACLU still has a complaint against the city, the two sides reached a “mutual understanding” on several key issues related to the use of force in protests against Black Lives Matter in 2020.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has announced that it will lift the restraining order against Fort Wayne, which the organization claims responded to protests against Black Lives Matter with excessive and unreasonable violence.
Fort Wayne NBC said the deal will end litigation shortly after local residents took to the streets in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to protest the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
The lawsuit initially alleged that Fort Wayne police violated the protesters’ rights by using unnecessary force to disperse the protesters. One person named in the complaint lost an eye after being hit by a non-lethal projectile fired by law enforcement agencies.
Fort Wayne NBC notes that the American Civil Liberties Union and the city of Fort Wayne have held multiple sessions in the presence of a mediator since the case was opened in the US District Court for Northern Indiana District.
“That was just a kind of communication with them. So we worked with a neutral party, a mediator, to agree on our policies, that we have good policies, and that we will continue to respect people’s right to peaceful protests, ”said Carol Helton, Fort Wayne District Attorney. across from Wane.com.
Police brutality Image via Pixabay. Public domain.
The mediation sessions, according to Fort Wayne NBC, resulted in both sides finding common ground on a number of issues including:
That individuals are allowed to take part in non-violent protests, including in public spaces and on streets that have been closed in coordination with the city authorities; and that unlawful or violent acts by protesters may result in adequate, limited law enforcement; and that if the police decide to set up an “emergency area”, such area is limited in size and “without an emergency” […] [police] will make reasonable efforts to inform people within the area to leave the area and which routes to take ”; and that “the use of any chemical agent … [constitutes] the use of force and that its use must be appropriate ”; and that “in accordance with the existing guidelines, [the Fort Wayne Police Department] will not fire ammunition indiscriminately in crowds. ”
Ken Falk, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Indiana, said his organization and Fort Wayne continue to have disagreements about what standards should be set for when violence can be used against protesters.
In addition, both sides have stated that the City of Fort Wayne, its police and individual officials have admitted no wrongdoing despite the agreement.
“The city has neither admitted that they did anything wrong, nor did we want approval at this point in time,” said Falk. “At this point we want to set a framework so that something like this does not happen again, and as I said, I applaud the city for recognizing that we can go beyond pointing the finger and try to build a structure that prevents this. “Not happen again.”
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