In response to protests that have been occurring throughout the city, and nationwide in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday will call on the city to ban the use of rubber bullets and pepper spray, among other items, against protesters.
Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Shamann Walton and Matt Haney announced they'll be introducing The Right to Protest Safely Act, which would ban certain crowd control methods used by law enforcement during protests.
The legislation would prohibit law enforcement from using rubber bullets or flexible baton rounds, flash bangs or stun grenades, and chemical agents like tear gas, pepper spray and mace. The legislation would also ban the use of military vehicles and equipment.
Referring to the large protests seen in the city last week, Haney said in a statement, "It was youth-led and was attended by thousands of San Franciscans, including many families and children. It was shocking and unacceptable to see these peaceful protestors come face-to-face with officers armed with flexible baton rounds and chemical agent sprays.
"Military weapons, chemical sprays, rubber bullets, pepper balls, and flexible baton rounds should have no place in our city's response to peaceful demonstrations," he said.
"If our residents do not feel safe peacefully protesting, we are silencing them. There are more steps that we need to take. But it's critical that we take these bold steps immediately," Walton said. "We should be able to stand together against anti-black racism without the threat of police harming us for simply standing in a crowd as we demand justice."
Ronen said, "The extreme militarized police response to First Amendment protests we have seen across the country has been chilling. There is no reason for using potentially deadly force against people speaking out against injustice, and San Francisco has to take action now to make sure it doesn't happen here."