LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Police Department wants to ban laser pointers from large demonstrations after multiple officers were injured by the objects.
City Council members advanced a proposal on Tuesday that would make it illegal to carry such items at gatherings.
“The LAPD works exceptionally hard to protect and facilitate the First Amendment rights of all to peacefully protest and assemble,” LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher told the council’s Public Safety Committee. “However, we have experienced numerous instances of individuals among these groups intentionally using laser devices and pointers to attempt to blind and cause harm to officers by pointing them purposely at their eyes.”
The request from the LAPD comes as officers have been accused of deploying foam bullets and causing life-altering injuries at large gatherings, including causing someone to lose an eye and leaving a mother with a fractured jaw and brain injury.
Officers have emphasized that they have been subject to violence from citizens, and referenced 20 police officers who had lasers pointed in their direction with the intention of distracting them.
Other items that are banned at public demonstrations and gatherings by the City of Los Angeles include large poles, slingshots, guns, “battle axes,” pepper spray, and any combat items.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)