Protesters sue city over IMPD’s use of tear gas, pepper balls during demonstrations

Keywords IMPD / Law / Lawsuits

Protesters who demonstrated against police brutality late last month have sued the city of Indianapolis over use of tear gas, pepper balls and flash grenades by police handling crowd control during the demonstrations.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on behalf of Indy10 Black Lives Matter and three individuals.

The lawsuit says protesters were met with “violent responses” while engaging in peaceful protests, violating both the First and Fourth amendments.

The suit calls for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to immediately stop using chemical agents and projectiles on protestors.

“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,” Ken Falk, legal director at the ACLU of Indiana, said in written comments. “Indianapolis should instead listen to demonstrators, build community trust, and transform policing and the criminal legal system.”

The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to ensure that the constitutional violations are not repeated, and the individual plaintiffs seek damages.

“The plaintiffs wish to continue to engage in their constitutional right of assembly and protest, but they justifiably fear a repetition of the improper behavior that was previously directed toward them by police authorities,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit comes after IMPD deployed chemical irritants and used rubber bullets and batons against protestors downtown May 29-May 31. The ACLU says the protests were marred by IMPD officers who took violent and unwarranted actions against peaceful protestors who were not engaged in any unlawful activity.

The lawsuit is one of a number of legal actions the ACLU has taken around the country in response to escalating law enforcement incidents involving journalists and protesters. One suit targets President Donald Trump and other administration officials for firing of tear gas on protesters outside the White House on June 1.

The local lawsuit states that Indy10 BLM has had to expend scarce resources to prepare for police violence at protests by buying medical supplies and by spending time in obtaining donated supplies, causing the organization to divert money and time away from its overall mission. Indy10 BLM also said in the suit that fewer people are attending demonstrations because of the police behavior, hurting the organization’s ability to spread its message.

“Born out of frustration, grief and rage, demonstrations in Indianapolis have amplified the voices of the community and the demands of the brokenhearted: for police to stop weaponizing their badges and budgets against black people, and for the city of Indianapolis to defund the police force and reinvest in its residents,” Indy Black Lives Matter said in a statement. “The onus for repairing harm is on city leadership and IMPD, and they would do well to lending their efforts toward policy reform and addressing the use of force policies as well as holding officers accountable.”

The city’s Office of Corporation Counsel declined to comment on the lawsuit “out of respect for the judicial process.”

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13 thoughts on “Protesters sue city over IMPD’s use of tear gas, pepper balls during demonstrations

  1. I’m sure Mayor Hogsett will recommend to pay them. Well finding no resources to replace all the windows and burn out businesses in our downtown area!

  2. It’s good to see people avail themselves of due process. This will provide city council time to figure the amount of money protesters owe the city for overtime paid out to IMPD officers, as well as monies owed for failure to apply for appropriate permits.
    If people would simply do what is asked of them… oh wait- we can’t even get people to wear masks during a pandemic…

    1. Not to mention the associated cost of the damages to business and personal and city property.

  3. Well I understand their rights to sue the city over force, but, is it possible for the city to sue the protesters for the damage done by looting our businesses and jobs that are affected by lost revenue and damages? Who’s responsibility is that?

  4. This is totally pathetic. Our downtown is in shambles and will take years to recover and they want reimbursement for funds they had to divert to medical supplies. Why don’t they forgo the destruction and peacefully spend the money on their “mission” whatever that is?

  5. Take an hour or 2 to do the research.

    Go to BLM’s website and also see other post they’ve posted on the internet.

    They are a Socialist Marxist Communist front group financed by Billionaire Leftist George Soros who’s mission is to instigate civil unrest and riotous violence. (Anarchy)

    They (?) employ a 3rd party company to receive donations even though once again they’re not a registered charity, and that company list the DNC and all of the rest of the recent Democrats running for office including Joe Biden as the recipients. As of now BLM is the main fund raiser of millions of dollars, including millions George Soros is laundering through BLM to finance the Democrat election efforts.

    BLM are admitted Antisemitic that rant their hate of Israel and Jewish people.

    They are pro abortion and to the fact of genocide of black babies.

    They have a bevy of other anti family rhetorics attacking society as we know it.

    All in all they need to be declared Domestic Terrorist the same as ANTIFA as they too are enemies of our Constitutional Republic.

    They are a rogue unincorporated group, no LLC, no physical location, no board, just 2 or 3 black women are listed as founders or creators but cost to coast BLM is just rogue leaderless mobs that show up yell “Black Lives Matter”. For media glory many from the mob will claim they are the leader or spokesperson but nonetheless there is no one defined.

    The 2 or 3 founders admit their Socialist Marxist Communist idealogies and relationships with Communist leaders in Cuba, Venezuela, and other Communist Dictators. One the leaders is living in political asylum in Cuba as to avoid criminal prosecution for previous terrorist activities.

  6. Darrell, so they are funded by Soros AND anti-semetic? You do know that Soros is Jewish? Better double check your “research” on whatever alt-right websites you’re using.

  7. He’s a Democrat! They swear to serve and protect but they miss the meaning of serving and protecting. Looters and individuals that destroy property should be brought to justice. They did considerable damage and should pay for their indiscretions. Protesting is much different than looting and destroying property.