Almost two years ago, anti-racism and police reform demonstrators were violently attacked by federal law enforcement in Lafayette Park with tear gas and military-grade weapons. Shortly after the assault, the then President posed for a picture holding a Bible at a church adjacent to where the demonstration was taking place.
Today, to prevent future attacks, the United States announced changes to how demonstrations are policed by Park Police and the Secret Service. This comes as a partial settlement in four lawsuits on behalf of civil rights protesters who were unconstitutionally and brutally attacked outside the White House while demonstrating for Black Lives Matter and racial justice.
The United States agreed to changes to how demonstrations are policed which help to:
- Protect demonstrators and the right to demonstrate
- Promote accountability
- Prohibit discriminatory policing
- Reduce the opportunity for guilt-by-association policing
“The use of tear gas and rubber bullets will never be enough to silence our voices or diminish our duty to demand an end to police violence against Black communities. Today marks a win for the ongoing resistance against all attempts to subvert dissent. These attempts to disrupt the ability to organize for an end to the recurring trauma caused to Black communities by police attacks will not go unchallenged.” – April Goggans, Core Organizer of Black Lives Matter D.C.
We are proud to represent these civil rights protestors and Black Lives Matter DC in one of the four lawsuits brought by the ACLU of DC, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Arnold & Porter, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; and Regan Zambri Long.