San Francisco supervisors call for rubber bullet, tear gas ban

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- JUNE 1: A man is taken into custody by San Francisco police after a curfew dispersal order was given at City Hall, Monday, June 1, 2020, the fourth day of Bay Area protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police cu (Getty Images)

In response to protests that have been occurring throughout the city, and nationwide in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday will call on the city to ban the use of rubber bullets and pepper spray, among other items, against protesters.

Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Shamann Walton and Matt Haney announced they'll be introducing The Right to Protest Safely Act, which would ban certain crowd control methods used by law enforcement during protests.

The legislation would prohibit law enforcement from using rubber bullets or flexible baton rounds, flash bangs or stun grenades, and chemical agents like tear gas, pepper spray and mace.

The legislation would also ban the use of military vehicles and equipment.

Referring to the large protests seen in the city last week, Haney said in a statement, "It was youth-led and was attended by thousands of San Franciscans, including many families and children. It was shocking and unacceptable to see these peaceful protestors come face-to-face with officers armed with flexible baton rounds and chemical agent sprays.

"Military weapons, chemical sprays, rubber bullets, pepper balls, and flexible baton rounds should have no place in our city's response to peaceful demonstrations," he said.

"If our residents do not feel safe peacefully protesting, we are silencing them. There are more steps that we need to take. But it's critical that we take these bold steps immediately," Walton said.

The San Jose police chief on Monday issued a memo restricting the use of rubber bullets. "Projectile impact weapons will only be used where a person is actively attacking an officer or another person or when an armed agitator poses a threat," he wrote.

Three Oakland city councilmembers have called on police to stop the use of tear gas, but the matter has not been officially voted on. 

KTVU contributed to this report.