News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Judge's TRO restricts tear gas, projectiles; 2 lawyers return to jail

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Federal judge bars chemical weapons, projectiles in peaceful protests

U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson issued a temporary restraining order Friday banning the Denver Police Department from using chemical weapons and projectiles against peaceful protesters. Jackson also ordered officers to keep their body cameras recording, although he said Saturday that cameras didn’t have to be activated and draining batteries when nothing is happening near an officer. Jackson ruled in a suit alleging that police used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment and retaliated for protesters’ speech in violation of the First Amendment. The suit claimed that projectiles had caused loss of vision, fractured bones and ruptured testicles, and that both peaceful protesters and journalists were targeted. (The Colorado Sun, Jackson’s order, Jackson’s modification order)

2nd Circuit orders jailing of lawyers for alleged Molotov cocktail attack

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York granted an emergency stay Friday that returned two lawyers to jail for an alleged Molotov cocktail attack on a police car. Urooj Rahman, 31, a lawyer with the Bronx Housing Court, is accused of throwing the device. Furloughed Pryor Cashman associate Colinford Mattis, 32, is accused of driving the getaway car. Mattis has since been suspended from his job. Each had been released to home confinement on $250,000 bond before the 2nd Circuit acted. Friends were surprised by the arrests. The lawyers were high achievers from working-class families who were passionate about social justice but had shown no inclination for violence. (The New York Law Journal, the New York Times)

Legal observers briefly detained by police

At least 10 legal observers with the National Lawyers Guild were briefly detained by New York City police during demonstrations Thursday night, according to the volunteer lawyers and other witnesses. The observers, many of them law students, were handcuffed with zip ties for 20 minutes. They wore green baseball caps that said, “National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer.” (Law360)

New York bar association’s section proposal for mandatory vaccines spurs pushback

Critics are expressing disagreement with a mandatory vaccine proposal by the New York State Bar Association’s Health Law Section. The section recommended that a COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory, unless a doctor cites medical reasons. The full state bar has not taken a vote on the recommendation. (The New York Law Journal)

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