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Breaking: Richmond Circuit Judge Denies Injunction on Police Use of Tear Gas, Recognizes “strong public interest in promoting public safety”

Court adds that people can protest "without blocking roadways and without disrupting or jeopardizing public peace and order"

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This morning, Richmond City Circuit Judge Beverly Snukals denied “a request for an injunction blocking the use of tear gas and enforcement of a controversial riot law against protesters in a case brought by ACLU.” As you can see here and below, the judge’s reasoning was that:

  • “Plaintiffs admitted that 150 people set up an encampment, blocked the city streets, and interfered with traffic, which provides the legal basis for a declaration of unlawful assembly.”
  • [P]laintiffs have the option in the future to protest without unlawful force, without blocking roadways and without disrupting or jeopardizing public peace and order
  • While the court “acknowledges the importances of citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and assembly,” it also “recognizes…the strong public interest in promoting public safety,” particularly during “an unprecedented period of civil unrest.”
  • “Plaintiffs have not made a clear showing on any of the four factors [“Likelihood of Success on the Merits”; “Irreparable Harm”; “Balance of the Equities”; “Public Interest”] under Winter [vs. NRDC, Inc].”