IMMEDIATELY discontinue the use of riot control agents by the BPD against protesters

IMMEDIATELY discontinue the use of riot control agents by the BPD against protesters

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Eugene Leonard started this petition to Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts Mayor Martin J. Walsh and

FELLOW BOSTONIANS: I’m asking for your help!

As many of you know, last night, the Boston Police Department fired tear gas on protesters and became violent after a full day of peaceful protests against systemic racism and police brutality. 

This action, while egregious at any time, is especially so due to the fact that the entire world is in the grips of a pandemic which ravages the respiratory system. Boston is no exception; we became an early hotspot for the spread of COVID-19. 

Although they are technically considered “less-lethal”, the exposure to riot control agents and subsequent symptoms could cause a poorer outcome for those who later become infected with COVID-19. Tear gas has severe effects on the respiratory system, both short- and long-term including: “chest tightness, coughing, choking sensation, noisy breathing (wheezing), shortness of breath” and even “immediate death due to severe chemical burns to the throat and lungs” (CDC, https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/riotcontrol/factsheet.asp accessed 6/1/2020). These side-effects can persist for days, weeks, or even months after the initial exposure. 

I am calling for the immediate stop to the use of riot control agents by the Boston Police Department on protesters, and I would like you to join me by signing this petition. There is no reason for a police department whose own mission statement states that they seek to “reduce fear and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods”, to incite fear and put their own community at greater risk of death from an illness that we’ve worked so hard to try and curb the effects of. 

Additionally, for those of you can take the extra step, I urge you to get in contact with the office of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (Boston 311/Constituent Services, 617-635-4500) and ask for the immediate discontinuation of riot control agents against protesters due to the fact that they can, and likely will, make people more vulnerable to being severely harmed by COVID-19. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!