I call on the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to follow the will of the people, the will of the DC Council, and DC law by immediately halting use of rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades against First Amendment assemblies. Protests are a vital part of social change. MPD has both the legal and democratic obligation to not use chemical weapons, or brutalize protestors, MPD should change their practices and be held accountable for the unethical and violent actions taken against protesters.
Protests against police brutality and centuries of systemic racism should be supported and not face intimidation or backlash. Anything less is an unacceptable attempt to hold back the movement for Black lives. We must stand in solidarity with this movement and its call to reimagine public safety and reallocate police budgets to community investments in housing, education, healthcare, and community-led violence interruption. These reinvestments create a safer DC for marginalized groups and for that alone, demands by protestors must be met.
Photo by Flickr user Yash Mori