SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would restrict the use of rubber bullets and chemical irritants during protests under legislation advanced Thursday. A similar bill died last year in the wake of widespread public demonstrations over racial injustice.
The bill would set statewide standards for using the weapons that advocates say sometimes harmed peaceful protesters. Police say they are needed to prevent violence and are often better than the alternatives.
The bill would bar law enforcement agencies from using kinetic projectiles, chemical agents, or tear gas to break up peaceful demonstrations. It would prohibit police from aiming rubber bullets, beanbags, and foam rounds at anyone’s head, neck, or other vital areas.