AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – The City of Akron is temporarily barred from using non-lethal force against nonviolent protestors, according to a joint stipulation entered as an order by the court late Friday.
The order was issued by a judge in response to a motion for a temporary restraining order filed by protesters, who sued the City of Akron over the use of pepper spray and tear gas.
Protesters have been organizing in Akron following a special grand jury’s decision not to indict the eight Akron police officers involved in Jayland Walker‘s death.
The order is for 14 days unless the court extends it.
Under the order, the City of Akron, including its Police Department and any other agency or personnel working at its behest, is restrained from using tear gas, pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets, wooden pellets, batons, body slams, pushing or pulling, or kettling on nonviolent protestors to enforce dispersal orders, traffic laws, and/or misdemeanors that were not committed with actual or imminently threatened physical harm or property destruction or with attempted or actual trespass on private property or secured government buildings/facilities.
The order defines “nonviolent protestors” to include individuals who are chanting, verbally confronting police, sitting, holding their hands up when approaching police, occupying sidewalks or streets apart from expressways or freeways, and/or passively resisting police orders in connection with the exercise of rights of free speech and association under the First Amendment.
The City of Akron is directed to enforce dispersal orders, traffic laws, and/or misdemeanors through citations or arrests.
The City of Akron is also prohibited from using the infliction of pain to punish or deter nonviolent protestors and must avoid the infliction of pain on any nonviolent protester when incidental to a use of force necessary to prevent or effectuate an arrest for crimes committed involving the actual or imminent threat of physical harm or property destruction or attempted or actual criminal trespass on private property or secured government buildings/facilities.
The City of Akron will inform the Summit County Sheriff and the Ohio State Patrol or any other agency that may provide aid of this Stipulated Temporary Order.