This past week was exceptional for protesters in St. Louis. They believe the court system finally understands why they protest and the rights that go along with it. A judge in St. Louis made a ruling that all protesting is okay unless it becomes violent. This new law means residents of St. Louis can have a peaceful protest in the middle of the street or on government grounds, and it is within the guidelines of the law. A violent protest would mean people fighting with each other, people throwing items, or people protesting with deadly weapons in their hands.
The law put into effect also states that police officers cannot arrest people for protesting unless they are becoming violent. Police will have to give at least four warnings to people before arresting them. In addition to this, police officers will be able to use tear gas or rubber bullets unless it is necessary. Police officers must also give timely notice regarding the disbursement of either tear gas or rubber bullets. The whole idea behind this is not to hurt protesters who are not being violent.
The St. Louis judge who put these laws into effect believes that these laws are going to make St. Louis a safer place to live. In an interview, the judge talked about how people have always protested in every state. It is only now that protests are getting national attention because of arrests, and these demonstrations are usually due to alleged cases of police brutality.
Recently, several individuals from the community spoke up about how happy they are about a judging siding with the people. These individuals explained in detail some of the horrific scenes they’ve witnessed where police officers treated peaceful protesters poorly.
Members of the ACLU St. Louis branch also spoke up regarding this issue, and they are delighted with the results. In fact, it was the ACLU, along with several other St. Louis activists groups, who helped get this proposed law on the judge’s desk. An ACLU representative stated that the ACLU is going to try to do even more for peaceful protesters, especially when it comes to a protest for alleged police brutality. The ACLU is also urging protesters to adhere to the law and not get violent in any way. The ACLU believes this will help protesters continue to fight for their beliefs and change.