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ONA Calls for an End of Police Brutality & Use of Chemical Agents
Police with tear gas

Racism in America is a public health crisis. When Black and Brown people, and others standing with them, protest systemic racism the police employ draconian, violent tactics that are meant to intimidate and harm those standing up for social justice. Their health, and lives, are put in danger by the police using tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and batons and perpetuating the foundations of racist oppression in America.

The 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibits the use of chemical weapons, like tear gas, in warfare, yet in the United States our police officers use asphyxiating gases on people protesting systemic abuses. Law enforcement’s insistence on controlling non-violent protesters with tear gas exacerbates the racial disparities inherent in American health care and the COVID-19 pandemic.

ONA calls for an end to the use of police brutality including deployment of chemical agents such as tear gas or pepper spray as a means of crowd control. This is the very least we can do to mitigate the public health crisis experienced by People of Color. The use of tear gas, and other violent crowd control means, are a perpetuation of racial health disparities inherent in America which ONA is committed to challenging and changing.

Updated June 11, 2020.

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Oregon Nurses Association
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