- Associated Press - Thursday, July 23, 2020

SEATTLE — A federal judge has ruled that he will allow a recent ordinance approved by the Seattle City Council that bars police from using tear gas, pepper spray and other crowd control devices to go into effect on Sunday.

But, U.S. District Judge James Robart reserved the right to reconsider the matter after attorneys involved in the case submit briefs arguing their case, KOMO-TV reported.

Robart issued his ruling Wednesday evening, saying his ultimate ruling on the case would be guided by recommendations submitted by the Seattle Office of Police Accountability and the Seattle Office of Inspector General.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on June 15 to prohibit chemical and projectile methods Seattle police officers had been using for crowd control amid protests against racism and police violence. The council’s move came amid frustration with the Seattle Police Department, which used tear gas to disperse protesters in the city’s densest neighborhood, Capitol Hill, days after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Carmen Best promised not to.

The council heard repeated complaints from residents who were not protesting but were forced from their homes by the gas.

Durkan sent the legislation back to the council unsigned, allowing it to become law, but asked the judge to prevent the new ordinance from taking effect. She said it likely conflicts with the consent decree the city entered into with the Department of Justice nearly eight years ago.

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