CMPD POLICY CHANGE: The Department Will Stop Using Tear Gas & Stop No-Knock Warrants

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  Pastor Ray McKinnon has been on the front lines of protests in Charlotte before. He says CMPD’s decision to stop using tear gas, or CS gas, and stopping no-knock warrants, is a step in the right direction. Protesters were trapped and gassed on Fourth Street on June 2nd, leading to a CMPD Sergeant’s suspension.

“It’s a win for community support, it’s a win for us realizing that this new Chief is trying to be transparent and responsive,” says McKinnon.

Chief Johnny Jennings announced the policy changes during a Safe Neighborhoods Committee meeting Tuesday.

“So we have pulled the chemical agent when it comes to riot control and dispersal of crowds that we will no longer be using CS,” says Chief Jennings.

An WCCB investigation earlier this month revealed chemical irritants used by CMPD were blamed for inducing heavy, painful, menstrual bleeding hours after exposure. Robert Dawkins with Action NC says this change will have a positive impact on people’s health.

“We’ve seen specifically over the last few protests that gas was used, that it had effects on people like burning skin and definitely some effects with women on their personal health,” says Dawkins.

Chief Jennings says the department will continue to deploy hand tossed canisters and aerosol OC. Otherwise known as pepper spray for crowd dispersal.

“The CS has a little bit more effect and also a wider dispersal area when you deploy it. The OC is a natural agent made out of peppers basically,” says Chief Jennings.

Dawkins disagrees.

The canister burns people when it hits the ground and explodes there’s a chance of shrapnel,” says Dawkins.