Skip to content

Lawmakers urge DeWine to ban use of tear gas by police departments

They say tear gas has dangerous health effects, violates civil and human rights and exacerbates the spread of COVID-19.
Gov. Mike DeWine (Vivien McClain Photography)

COLUMBUS — House Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine urging him to ban the use of tear gas by all county, municipal and township police departments indefinitely. 

The demand follows the use of tear gas, pepper spray and mace by law enforcement on Ohioans peacefully seeking social justice and protesting police brutality in dozens of towns and cities this past week.

“The people are raising their voices and being heard. Peaceful protest is a constitutionally protected right in this country because it does make us take notice, stop and listen,” state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, said in a news release. “These protests are leading to important policy change. Tear gas should never be used against human beings.”

The letter outlines that the use of tear gas and other chemical agents should be banned because tear gas:

  • May have dangerous health effects on Ohioans;
  • Violates civil and human rights;
  • Exacerbates the spread of COVID-19.
House Democrats on Tuesday also revealed their preliminary legislative plan to combat police brutality, which includes a proposed bill to prohibit the use of tear gas by law enforcement.