(SAINT LOUIS) — A federal judge in Missouri on Monday night rejected an ACLU challenge that would have put a stop to certain tactics being used by the Missouri State Highway Patrol against protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
According to a release from Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, the ACLU sought to prevent the state highway patrol from enforcing requirements that protesters remain moving unless they are gathered in an “organized protest area.” Koster argued against the ACLU motion, calling the requirement a measure “designed to protect public safety.”
Judge Catherine Perry of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri heard arguments from Koster and the ACLU and determined that the existing requirement was proper.
“The vast majority of protestors, we have seen are peaceful,” Koster said in a statement. “However, law enforcement has repeatedly encountered groups employing violence against officers, businesses, and threatening the citizens of Ferguson.” He also cited a threat against the Unified Command Center on Sunday night, saying that public safety required “reasonable measures.”
“This restriction is as narrowly tailored as the gunfire and violence along West Florissant Avenue will allow,” Koster said.
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