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.