Why ban the police department when you can simply ban the equipment they use?
That’s exactly what Obama appointed Federal Judge Laurie Michelson has done in Detroit.
Detroit police have been banned for two weeks from using police batons, shields, rubber bullets, or tear gas.
Translation: Protesters are free to do whatever they damn well please for two weeks.
What line of thinking could possibly cause someone to come to this conclusion?
This is akin to if a child was throwing a temper tantrum, and the parents were banned from using any form of dicipline on the child for two weeks.
Isn’t something backwards here?..
A federal judge in Detroit has ordered the city's police to stop using batons, shields, gas, chokeholds, rubber bullets, or sound cannons against peaceful protesters for the next two weeks, according to reports.
The late Friday ruling granted a temporary restraining order to Detroit Will Breathe, a group that sued the city Monday, claiming excessive police force infringed on protesters' First Amendment rights, according to the Detroit Free Press.
U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Michelson’s order prohibits police from using force during protests without “probable cause.”
Jack Schulz, who filed the lawsuit for the group, called the ruling a win.
"For a short period, we know that the police will not be able to use the brutal tactics they have in the past against peaceful protesters without violating a court order,” he said, the Free Press reported.
Detroit police Chief James Craig said police have never used force against peaceful protesters.
"We're going to continue to do our jobs the way we've done it," he said. "We respect peaceful protesters. We understand the judge's order and we'll make sure the protesters understand if there's any aggression or violation of law, they will get ample notice like we've done in the past."
The lawsuit said officers’ use of force has left some protesters hospitalized.
The department is investigating around two dozens complaints against officers, including an officer who was charged with felony assault for allegedly hitting three photojournalists with rubber bullets, Craig said, according to the Detroit News.
Officers are also prohibited from tightening zip ties to the point where they cause injury or arresting large numbers of protesters without probable cause.
"We are disappointed the order was entered without an evidentiary hearing because we believe when the evidence is heard, the police actions to date will be deemed justified," city attorney Lawrence Garcia said.
It should come as no surprise that Judge Michelson was appointed by former President Barack Obama.
According to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, officers haven't used excessive force on any peacful protesters.
Detroit police have in fact allowed protesters to set up large gatherings in the streets, even without permits.
According to Craig, officers have allowed the protesters to do so in an effort to give them a platform to expres thmselves.
The Detroit News has more on Craig's stance:
In a statement Friday, Amanda Ghannam, an attorney representing Detroit Will Breathe, said since the demonstrations began, the city through its police department has "repeatedly responded with violence and hostility to the simple message that 'Black lives matter.'
"We are relieved that Detroit Will Breathe will be able to commemorate their 100th day of protest (Saturday) safely and peacefully, without fear of violent retaliation or unlawful arrest by police — that has always been the main goal of this lawsuit..."
"Our clients simply seek to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, as countless others have done before them. Whether you agree or disagree with the movement's message, their conduct is protected by the Constitution. The decision today affirms that we are on the right side of both the law and history."
The ruling came two days after the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners approved guidelines barring the city's officers from using chokeholds and requiring them to intervene when their colleagues exert unnecessary force.
Craig said since the judge's order bars action against "peaceful protesters," his officers needn't change what they've already been doing.
"The judge’s order is no different than what we’ve always done," Craig said. "Every time we've had to use less-than-lethal force, it's been to address violence by protesters, resisting arrest, or when they've tried to take over an intersection in violation of the law. Technically, nothing has changed."
In a Facebook post, Detroit Will Breathe hailed the judge's order.
"This is a victory to be sure, but it is the first battle in what's about to be a long war," the post said.
Detroit Will Breathe members erupted in cheers and applause when news of the order was announced during the group's 99th day of protesting Friday.
Michelson wrote in the order: “The Court recognizes that police officers are often faced with dangerous and rapidly evolving situations while trying to enforce the law and maintain the safety of the public. And it is important that police officers have non-lethal options to use to protect themselves and the public when necessary.
"But the relief that Plaintiffs request leaves open all lawful options for police to use reasonable force when necessary to defend against a threat and to make arrests when supported by probable cause. And any possible benefit police officers could gain from deploying chemical agents, projectiles, or striking weapons against demonstrators who pose no threat and are not resisting lawful commands is outweighed by the irreparable harm peaceful protesters would face."
Craig said he agrees with the judge.
"This just reinforces our policy," he said. "We don't use force against peaceful protesters. In fact, we've allowed them to take over all lanes of streets, when technically, we didn't have to do that, because they didn't have permits. But we want them to be able to express themselves, so we allowed it."
This is a stupid ruling, plain and simple.
If we have learned anything from the failing mayors of the cities hit hardest by all this violent protesting, it's that if you give these people an inch, they'll take a mile.
People who resort to such violent measures cannot be satisfied, and rulings like this will only escalate the violence.