US judge says Ferguson police acted unconstitutionally

A federal judge ruled on Monday that the so-called five-second rule, a police tactic sporadically used in Ferguson, Mo., that required demonstrators to keep moving while they protested, is unconstitutional.
“The practice of requiring peaceful demonstrators and others to walk, rather than stand still, violates the Constitution,” Judge Catherine D. Perry of District Court wrote in the ruling.
The judge added that law enforcement “must be able to use the full range of lawful means to control crowds and to protect people and property from acts of violence and vandalism.”
Protests in Ferguson have persisted in smaller numbers since the death of Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9. Mr. Brown was shot by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer, a killing that prompted weeks of demonstrations and a response from the police that included tear gas and rubber bullets.
Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, said the ruling would not affect the way the department was handling security. On Friday, the Ferguson Police Department handed over responsibility for policing protests to the county police department, which is larger and better equipped. “It will not change operations, as we were not going to use it going forward,” Mr. Schellman said.

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