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Ramos Introduces Bill That Would Ban Cops From Using Rubber Bullets and Tear Gas on Protesters

Photo: Unsplash @koshuphotography

June 9, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

State senator Jessica Ramos has introduced a bill this week that would prevent the police from using military-style weapons on civilians.

Bill S.8516 bans law enforcement from using rubber bullets and tear gas on demonstrators. It also calls on law enforcement to destroy any chemical weapons in their possession.

Ramos wants aggressive police practices abolished following a series of beatings at George Floyd protests in the city. She said that the police have unleashed life-threatening weapons on New Yorkers in recent days.

“By cutting off their ability to senselessly attack crowds using chemical weapons, and other military equipment, we will encourage law enforcement to find other peaceful ways of doing their jobs while protecting our communities in times of disarray,” she said.

The ultimate goal of the bill, she said, is to ensure that demonstrators can safely and peacefully protest in the future.

Ramos said that many peaceful protests have turned ugly because police have thrown tear gas or shot rubber bullets into crowds without provocation.

The bill bans kinetic energy munitions like plastic, wax, wood or rubber bullets from being fired at civilian populations as well as tear gas.

The bill, co-sponsored by Brad Hoylman who represents midtown Manhattan, has been referred to the Senate Rules committee. An Assembly version has yet to be introduced.

Ramos is also sponsoring a bill that would limit the police from using drones to surveil protesters. Bill S.6435A cites such surveillance as having a chilling effect on protesters.

She has also called for the NYPD to be defunded and voted to repeal 50-A which would make police officer disciplinary records public.

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16 Comments

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Mary

Imagine being someone who can’t envision any other way to deal with civil unrest, except to kill, gas, and injure civilians.

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Annab

This is fantastic- and important protection of EVERYONE’s safety and right to free assembly and speech as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. Individuals throwing rocks and/or bottles can or should be apprehended by law enforcement individually, gassing the entire assembly is a violation of everyone’s rights. Tear gas is BANNED as a weapon of war. It should be banned for civilian use as well.

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Javier

I just find it comical that cops will use excessive force on peaceful protesters, yet will stand by and do absolutely ZERO while looters break into stores. Our tax dollars at work.

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Jose Sanchez

where this country is going stop using rubber bullet on riot and looting let the police go and confront them with a bare hand terrific why we elect this person is a mistake

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Sara Ross

If a protestor throws a bottle or Molotov cocktail at an officer what’s he supposed to do? She should go to a protest without her security and see what happens.

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Annab

He (or he – there are women on the police force too, you know…) is supposed to apprehend and arrest the individual who throws the bottle or other object. Are the police supposed to tear gas an entire block because of one shoplifter? Soldiers don’t use gas in a war zone as the risk to innocent civilians is too great. Same here.

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Mary

This comment tells me that you have not participated in any of the protests and have no idea what’s actually happening on the ground, besides watching some videos… Just an assumption.

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Annab

Mary, I most certainly have, and had 2 friends sent to the emergency room because of police aggression, including one who took a rubber bullet to the face. YOUR comment says YOU haven’t and are getting your info from Faux news.

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Annab

Mary, your response shows not only have you definitely not been to a protest (not that I thought you had, based on your original comment) you are probably getting your info from Faux news. I’ve not only been to the protests, I’ve had friends hospitalized for injuries sustained at the hands of police, including taking a rubber bullet to the face. None threw anything, and I certainly didn’t.

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[email protected]

Did she legalize prostitution yet ? , That’s the only thing I remember her saying.

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Anonymous

That’s a great idea considering how much innocent black people are killed by police.

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J C @ N.blvd

She is just anti – police. Anything that has to do with law enforcement she is against. Funny that her office is not far from the 115pct.

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Sal

She should also ban rocks , bricks & bottles from being thrown at police by protesters.

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