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Seattle City Council could prohibit police from using chokeholds, some 'crowd control weapons'

After reports of violent clashes between Seattle police and protesters, several pieces of legislation are being considered to restrict how officers control crowds.

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council will consider prohibiting police from using chokeholds and banning the use of "crowd control weapons" unless authorized by the council.

Three proposals being considered Monday during the council meeting also includes prohibiting officers from covering up their badge number.

Legislation being sponsored by Councilmember Kshama Sawant would not only ban the use of chokeholds, classifying them as an unlawful "use of force," it would also open the city up to lawsuit that could pay up to $100,000 in damages.

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An ordinance further restricting the use of crowd control devices by police would prohibit any devices that meet the definition of "kinetic impact projectile, chemical irritant, acoustic weapon, directed energy weapon, water cannon, disorientation device, or ultrasonic cannon." The ordinance would also prohibit any device that is designed to be used on multiple people and can cause pain and discomfort.

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The Seattle Office of Police Accountability previously said it is reviewing and processing thousands of complaints regarding police misconduct during the George Floyd protests in Seattle. It released a list of 10 incidents it received the most complaints about, including the use of pepper spray on peaceful protesters, the use of flashbangs, and covering badge numbers. 

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best previously said several policy changes are in the works to hold police accountable.

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