Seattle has ordered the Police Department to cease using crowd control weapons like tear gas starting tonight at 3 AM local time.

DOJ has entered a TRO to block the order. A judge will be hearing the issue NOW.
Listening in on the call now. Argument by US government is that, without tear gas and other non-lethals, police will be left with only the option of tasers, batons, and firearms...that these limitations would lead to excessive force while other options would not.
cont'd - furthermore, these changes are being made without retraining or offering guidelines with how to respond, increasing the likelihood of unneeded escalated force.
Seattle: city attorney has an obligation to defend city's position...its a valid law, passed unanimously... that the court should not block the ordinance...essentially "we passed this legally, the Fed Gov't should stay out of it and let cops and rioters receive excess injuries"
Continues: "US gov't hasn't proven there will be irreparable harm, can't be speculative, has to be immediate...ordinance was passed on June 15th, US has waited too long to take action...that's a lack of urgency by Fed Gov't that indicates a lack of immediate irreparable harm"
Judge is not pleased with city attorney... I'm taking notes and will post them in a few. Some catch-22 wordplay just got shut down hard in amusing fashion... "I don't need to hear from you anymore," the judge said.
Basically, city attorney had filed something previously that said the ordinance should not be implemented. Now she's tasked (obligated) to defend the city's position that it should be implemented... judge notes this, bemused and annoyed at it...
Says they're basically representing "three inconsistent interests" ... Their response is basically "we have to represent the city's ordinance"
"If the DOJ truly cared, they'd know that the city has been repeatedly urged to stop using tear gas...they'd care that SPD has ignored the consent decree... DOJ wants to hijack the public interest and become seattles new legislative body"
Judge: consent decree embodies principles... avoidance of excessive force... [note: seattle entered an agreement re: police reform with the federal gov't in 2012 regarding what the fed govt saw as excessive force at the time]
city attorney: [paraphrasing] I don't believe the DOJ is looking to protect the sanctity of the consent decree... the DOJ has been seeking to weaken the consent decree in recent years
C.A: [para] "The ordinance was passed after the police abused these weapons... now the DOJ is saying 'if they don't have these weapons they'll have to use sticks and weapons'...You mentioned the city's inconsistency, that's the DOJs inconsistency"
c.a: [para] DOJ is not here to protect the protesters rights, I'm skeptical of their position tonight... there was no hearing when a 6 year old was pepper sprayed...
Judge asks whether the city is making an indictment of the weapons or the conduct of the officers... C.A. - that's a legislative question...they were using these weapons as toys...Judge jones (prev hearing) put restrictions on the use of CWCs used in an unconst. manner
CWCs = crowd control weapons

CA: Jones restricted their use severely... they were using them like it was a video game, just pushing that red button. They were using them like it was a food fight. In light of that, a policy decision was made...
CA: Legislature said 'you dont get these toys anymore, you don't get to use these things' ... doj is saying 'if you don't give these to use, things are going to get worse' and that is a false choice, your honor
CA: This is Democracy maybe this ordinance will get reversed. But this is what the city wants and the DOJs argument is not about the consent decree. This is a policy decision [they disagree with].
DOJ: Due to consent agreement with federal govt, US is a party to these policing changes and we have a right to weigh in here. It's not the DOJs position that we're defending the use of less lethal options, we're prepared to evaluate the city's interest in these reforms BUT...
cont'd: this needs to be done in a reasonable manner, not yanked from the hands of the officers who are walking into protests.... If there have been excessive uses of force, that's something we are interested. We are not looking at indiv. cases and pursuing those in court
cont'd: we are looking at whether there is a patter or practice. We're here to make sure that constitutional rights aren't trampled on.
Judge: we're all adjusting to litigation by zoom... not as productive for people who have grown up in a different system as I have....Preliminary comments from

judge: we intend to issue an order this evening (or early tomorrow) on these very important questions
judge: after an extensive review of the litigation file over the early events in this matter, I found it to be focused on NOT the regulations that were in place but the performance of the dept in carrying out those regulations... I have no reason to second guess Judge Jones >>
judge: that it was not done properly ... so question before me today is whether this is a challenge to the conduct or a challenge to the regulation... depending on how you answer that question will determine whether there will be a TRO or not.
judge: I don't believe the city council has the authority to proceed to say 'we don't like one of your regulations' ... They can raise that issue and then discuss it and act accordingly... I cant tell you today whether blast balls are a good idea or a bad idea
judge: tear gas, as far as I know, has never been used except with the East Precinct situation... So, my bottom line is that the Dept of Justice has put forth a sufficient showing... Consequently, I'm going to grant the motion for TRO. It will be very temporary.
Judge: I urge you all to use this time to iron out your positions... The consent decree was lawfully entered, it will remain in force. It doesn't mean everything in it is right or that everything in it is not capable of being changed, but I'd like to do so in a deliberate process
Sounds like judge is aiming for a TRO until Aug 15. Not determined yet.
judge: a formal order will issue and all I can say to all of you is be safe out there...we have a lot of stuff going on out there. we need to be thoughtful on how we handle this.
Most quotes are paraphrased above. Was trying to write notes and type as quickly as I could, anyway that's all on this for now.
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