By Bob Katzen

The Judiciary Committee held a virtual hearing on a proposal that would outlaw the use of tear gas by police officers and other law enforcement personnel.

“Tear gas is banned on the military battlefield by the Geneva Protocol and the Chemical Weapons Convention, so therefore has no place in civil society,” said Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). “I would suggest that when law enforcement reaches the point where they feel the use of a chemical weapon is necessary, then a failure in policing and a breakdown in communication has already occurred. Use of tear gas is now more problematic than ever given the potential for these chemical weapons to exacerbate both the respiratory effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of trust between the public and the police.”

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