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'We Will Be Watching': Philadelphia City Councilmembers Call For Cease And Desist On Police Use Of Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets In Peaceful Demonstrations

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Four members of Philadelphia's City Council are calling for a cease and desist on police use of tear gas and rubber bullets. It comes less than a week after police say SWAT officers used tear gas and non-chemical white smoke to disperse a crowd of protesters from the Vine Street Expressway.

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Councilmembers Kendra Brooks, Jamie Gauthier, Helen Gym and Isaiah Thomas released a statement ahead of Saturday's protest that reads, in part, "We understand that the police department has the responsibility to maintain public safety as thousands of people take to our streets. However, the past week has shown appalling instances of police officers using excessive and unnecessary force during largely peaceful demonstrations. The use of weaponry such as rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray directly to the face endangers the broader public. This brutality has brought shame to Philadelphia and thrust us into the national news cycle for the world to see. It is unacceptable."

The councilmembers also asked that the city and police department prohibit the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and other weaponry during Saturday's and future demonstrations.

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"As those responsible for funding, we will be watching. And so will the world," they said.

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