Michelle Simpson Tuegel Rubber Bullets/Tear Gas Restraining Order/Lawsuit
Dallas Weekly’s interview with rubber bullet victim Vincent Doyle:
For a filemarked copy of the Preliminary Injunction, CLICK HERE.
For a filemarked copy of the Emergency Temporary Restraining Order, CLICK HERE.
For a filemarked copy of the complaint, CLICK HERE.
For a filemarked copy of the Plaintiffs’ Appendix To Motion For Temporary Restraining Order, CLICK HERE.
Plaintiffs’ proposed order granting TRO: CLICK HERE
Plaintiffs’ Brief in Support of Motion for TRO: CLICK HERE
Certificate of Interested Persons: CLICK HERE
DALLAS, June 11 – Shortly after it was filed by a group of Dallas civil rights attorneys, a U.S. District Court judge granted a 90-day preliminary injunction that prohibits the City of Dallas, Texas, and Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall and officers of the Dallas Police Department from using “‘less lethal’ weapons, such as tear gas, smoke bombs, flash-bangs, pepperballs, mace, and other chemical agents in connection with protests” and “firing or deploying kinetic impact projectiles into a crowd for any purpose.”
“We filed for a temporary restraining order this morning, and hours later the city agreed to ban use of tear gas and rubber bullets,” said attorney Daryl Washington. “What the protesters are doing matters, and this helps them to keep doing it, because there is a lot more work to be done.”
“Even at peaceful protests, we’ve seen citizens permanently blinded, with broken bones, with permanent disfigurements, from these so-called ‘less-lethal’” rubber bullets,” said attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel. “We’ve seen citizens sprayed with dangerous gases that are banned in international warfare, even during a respiratory pandemic. And all of this just serves as proof of the point that demonstrators are here to make: that police brutality is real. We take the City of Dallas’ move as an acknowledgement of this indisputable fact.”
Attorney Daniel Dailey expressed hope that seeing the bloodied victims of police violence again and again will finally turn the nation’s sentiment to the side of civil rights protesters.
“After the civil rights movement of the 1960s, things were supposed to get better. But George Floyd’s death proves, Ahmaud Arbery’s death proves, Eric Garner’s death proves, the long list of deaths proves, that this contract has not been honored,” he said. “So people are litigating it in the streets. This is their trial. And all America is the jury. And all of America is watching.”
Attorney Daryl K. Washington a nationally renowned civil rights attorney represents clients in police brutality, police misconduct, wrongful arrest, and wrongful death cases. Daryl was named Attorney of the Year in 2007 by the National Bar Association’s Sports, Entertainment and Art Section. Daryl was presented with the Southern University Law Center Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2011 National Bar Association Convention. He also currently represents rubber-bullet-injured client Brandon Saenz, who lost his eye during a protest.
DALLAS, June 11 – Victim Vincent Doyle now needs a metal plate in his face after a May 30 incident in which a rubber bullet hit him in the cheek, shattering bone. And victim Tasia Williams was left bloody on the ground of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge after a rubber bullet hit her in the leg on June 1.
After the incidents, attorneys for the two seriously injured victims have filed for an emergency temporary restraining order against use of tear gas or other chemical agents and rubber bullets in advance of a planned June 11 fundraising visit to Dallas by President Donald Trump, which is likely to spur continued demonstrations and potentially more hospitalizations or deaths, either from the projectiles or from the gas, which multiple public health experts have said is especially dangerous during the coronavirus outbreak
The legal team also filed suit against the City of Dallas and the rubber bullet company, seeking to hold the parties responsible for employing and marketing the devices as a “less lethal” crowd control measure, despite their documented lethality.
Following incidents last week in which peaceful protesters in front of the White House and on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas were sprayed with tear gas and rubber bullets, attorney Daniel Dailey expressed concern that President Trump’s visit to Dallas will create a volatile moment that puts more demonstrators at risk.
“They call these weapons ‘less lethal,’ as if it’s acceptable if only a few people die while exercising their First Amendment rights,” said Doyle’s attorney George Oginni. “But this needs to stop. Now.”
Plaintiff Tasia Williams was one of approximately 700 demonstrators taking part in a June 1 peaceful protest march on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge when police blocked both ends of the bridge and fired on the crowd with tear gas and rubber bullets, which attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel said was a clear violation of civil rights undertaken for intimidation and control.
“Police say that they need to use tear gas and rubber bullets as tools to force a crowd to leave an area,” said Simpson Tuegel, co-lead counsel in the case and a nationally known advocate for victims. “But when they are being used against protesters who have already been trapped and have no way to leave, these are no longer tools of crowd control. They are instruments of torture.”
There is no compelling argument that this action was taken to protect life or property, Simpson Tuegel added. “These were peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights. There are no businesses to loot in the middle of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge.”
“What happened to protesters who marched on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas in 2020 is sadly reminiscent of what happened to protesters who marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965,” civil rights attorney Daryl K. Washington said. “Instead of heeding the message of hope for a more just future, Dallas Police tried to take us backwards in time more than half a century, leaving protesters injured and bloody for the ‘crime’ of peacefully marching across a bridge.”
The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Wednesday in The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division and the products liability lawsuit will be filed in Dallas County District Court.