Bill to ban Nashville police from using tear gas withdrawn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Metro Councilmembers have withdrawn a bill that would ban the use of tear gas by the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The gas was used recently during some civil unrest in the city as people took to the streets of Nashville protesting police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The bill was up for a second vote on Tuesday, but was withdrawn, along with two other bills concerning Metro Police. One ordinance, a measure regarding police hiring practices stating that officers under investigation in another department can’t be hired at MNPD, is still on the table.

The Council said that after their meeting with MNPD, they decided to withdraw based on the changes and clarifications of MNPD’s policies.

The original bill from Metro Councilmember Emily Benedict would’ve ban Metro Police from the use of chemical weapons such as tear gas. Explaining how dangerous tear gas can be, the bill cited a 22-year-old protester in Ohio who died two days after being exposed to the substance.

Metro Police used tear gas when the city courthouse was set on fire during riots on May 30. Police said it’s the first time they’ve had to use tear gas in decades.

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