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Federal Judge Restricts Use Of Projectile Launchers By LAPD Officers

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A federal judge issued an order Monday restricting the use of certain less-lethal projectile launchers by Los Angeles police officers.

LA Shutting Down Echo Park Lake Indefinitely, Homeless Camps Being Cleared Out
Protesters clash with LAPD officers in riot gear at Echo Park Lake over the removal of homeless encampments there. March 24, 2021. (CBSLA)

It restricts the use of 40mm and 37mm projectile launchers against crowds of protesters. It came in response to a temporary restraining order filed by Black Lives Matter against the LAPD.

The order prompted LAPD Chief Michel Moore Tuesday morning to issue two directives. The first put an immediate moratorium on the use of 37mm launchers. The second restricts the use of 40mm launchers to officers who have completed training on the weapon. It also restricts the officers from targeting the head, neck, eyes face or spine of a person and restricts officers from using it against anyone other than those who "pose a threat of serious bodily injury to others, including police officers," Moore said.

U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall granted BLM's request to halt the LAPD's use of "less lethal" weapons in public demonstrations "except when deployed by officers that are properly trained."

She also restricted police from "aiming the weapons at the upper bodies of demonstrators at close range within five feet."

Chief Michel Moore told the L.A. Board of Police Commissioners that his two directives were issued Tuesday morning.

Moore told police commissioners Tuesday, "We're pending a further, much more detailed review of the court's order, as well as a response to the court. But in that interim, we're directing our personnel to follow the court's order in its entirety."

A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office said the office was reviewing the decision and had no immediate comment.

BLM filed the court request after demonstrators clashed with police in Echo Park last month to protest the removal of a large-scale homeless encampment there. 182 people were arrested and several media members were detained.

Police fired less-lethal rounds into the crowd after declaring an unlawful assembly.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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