Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best issued an order banning the use of tear gas for at least 30 days at protests in the city following a request from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.
“SPD does not need to be using tear gas at protests as a crowd management tool,” Durkan said.
During those 30 days, Best said she is asking departments to review and update the Seattle Police Department’s crowd control policies and procedures.
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Durkan said the city needs innovative solutions to deescalate large events. Recently, the city started using a better sound system so the crowd could hear the police. According to feedback, protest organizers say they have been better able to understand what’s going on.
The mayor commended Best and her department for adjusting how they approach each situation and for avoiding escalation in recent days. The department has increased the physical distance between officers and protesters, and officers are doing a better job at communicating with protesters.
“The last two days have shown you can have very large protests and marches in different parts of the city and they can be conducted in peace and without any confrontations from police,” Durkan said.
Outside of WTO 1999, Best said Seattle has not used tear gas to manage crowds until Saturday, May 30.
Best said there was an incident in the early hours of Friday morning when two officers were injured after people started throwing rocks and bottles. One officer went to the hospital. However, officers demonstrated restraint

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