IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Ferguson Unrest: Missouri Police Agencies Agree to Limit Use of Tear Gas on Protesters

The agreement settles a lawsuit brought by Ferguson protesters.
Image: Police attempt to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown
Police clash with demonstrators last August in Ferguson, Missouri.Scott Olson / Getty Images
/ Source: NBC News

Three police agencies in Missouri, settling a lawsuit brought by Ferguson demonstrators, have agreed not to use tear gas against protesters without giving a clear warning.

A federal judge had imposed similar restrictions on the three agencies — the St. Louis city and county police and the Missouri Highway Patrol — in a temporary restraining order in December.

The three agencies handled security in Ferguson during protests over the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. Law enforcement was criticized for a militarized response, including the use of tear gas.

Under the terms of the settlement, the police agencies must provide a clear warning and a way for protesters to leave the area before deploying tear gas, smoke bombs or other chemical agents.

“This victory rests on the shoulders of the courageous protesters who are tirelessly demonstrating in the streets of Ferguson, and it’s a testament to the powerful movement they have fostered,” said Thomas Harvey of the St. Louis nonprofit law firm Arch City Defenders, who represented the plaintiffs.


Erin McClam