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Berkeley loosens rules on police pepper-spraying protesters

FILE - In this April 15, 2017 file photo, pepper spray is used as anti and pro-Donald Trump protesters clash during competing demonstrations at Martin...
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2017 file photo, demonstrators clash during a free speech rally in Berkeley, Calif. Police in Berkeley, California say they ne...

FILE - In this April 15, 2017 file photo, pepper spray is used as anti and pro-Donald Trump protesters clash during competing demonstrations at Martin...

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2017 file photo, demonstrators clash during a free speech rally in Berkeley, Calif. Police in Berkeley, California say they ne...

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — For the first time in 20 years, police in the city of Berkeley can use pepper spray on violent demonstrators.

The City Council voted 6-3 Tuesday to allow police to use pepper spray to repel attacks on officers and others during the kind of violent protests that have rocked the city this year.

They still may not use it as an overall crowd-control method.

The Tuesday vote came ahead of another planned speech on Thursday at the University of California, Berkeley that may bring more violence.

The city banned pepper spray in 1997 as a crowd-control weapon.

Police Chief Andrew Greenwood sought the permission at an emergency council meeting. He says pepper spray is preferable to using batons or tear gas.


Updated : 2021-10-17 11:53 GMT+08:00