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Report: Raleigh police used expired tear gas on protesters

Report: Raleigh police used expired tear gas on protesters

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RALEIGH — Raleigh police used expired tear gas on demonstrators during protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, according to a report released Tuesday.

The News & Observer reports that the review of the Police Department's response and use of force during the protests also found that police used tear gas unnecessarily in one instance.

Fourteen officers were injured, and 17 police vehicles were damaged during the protests, according to the report.

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown told the City Council there have been 106 arrests stemming from the protests.

After an initially peaceful demonstration May 30, law enforcement officers repeatedly launched tear gas and foam batons — also known as rubber bullets — at protesters. Some demonstrators threw water bottles, rocks and fireworks at police. Downtown windows were smashed and some stores were robbed.

At least one of the department’s uses of tear gas was a mistake, according to the report.

“This should not have happened,” Deck-Brown said.

The report said officers used tear gas to clear a street for an ambulance needed on a nearby medical call. The ambulance call was canceled, but word did not get to officers on the scene.

The report also confirms that some of the tear gas canisters used were expired.

“While the RPD did deploy some expired gas canisters, there is no scientific evidence to support claims that expired CS (tear) gas contains harmful levels of cyanide,” according to the report.

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