Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–331.16. Use of riot gear and riot tactics at First Amendment assemblies.

(a) Officers in riot gear shall be deployed consistent with the District policy on First Amendment assemblies and only where there is a danger of violence. Following any deployment of officers in riot gear, the commander at the scene shall make a written report to the Chief of Police within 48 hours and that report shall be available to the public on request.

(b)(1) Large scale canisters of chemical irritant shall not be used at First Amendment assemblies absent the approval of a commanding officer at the scene, and the chemical irritant is reasonable and necessary to protect officers or others from physical harm or to arrest actively resisting subjects.

(2) Chemical irritant shall not be used by officers to disperse a First Amendment assembly unless the assembly participants or others are committing acts of public disobedience endangering public safety and security.

(3) A commanding officer who makes the determination specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall file with the Chief of Police a written report explaining his or her action within 48 hours after the event.


(Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-352, § 116, 52 DCR 2296.)