The ACLU of Indiana on Friday submitted a lawsuit against the city of Fort Wayne and Allen County, citing the alleged abuse of tear gas and pepper spray by Fort Wayne police during the recent George Floyd demonstrations.
The report states that “Numerous persons have come together to attempt to engage in peaceful protest in downtown Fort Wayne.” It continues by that claiming that they “have repeatedly been met by members of the Fort Wayne Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Department who have engaged in a range of unreasonable and inappropriate behaviors […] [including] the use of tear gas, pepper spray, flash grenades and rubber bullets.”
The complaint argues that these policing tactics violate the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantee, in part, the right to peaceful assembly and protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The ACLU’s lawsuit also includes a timeline of the protest in question with a detailed account of alleged police actions throughout the protest. This suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief for the affected protesters.
Since the protest began, multiple groups have sued as a result of alleged police violations of Constitutional rights. Earlier this month, Black Lives Matter Washington, D.C. sued President Trump, Attorney General Barr, and others for similar alleged injustices committed by police in the prior week’s demonstrations.
The Fort Wayne police and the Allen County Sheriff’s Department have not yet responded to the lawsuit, but on June 25, one of the plaintiffs named in the suit was arrested and remains in custody at Allen County Jail.