I would never agree to these terms or ‘Rules of Engagement’.
Following weeks of intense negotiations, local police officials and Ferguson protesters have agreed to a dozen policies for how any future protests will be policed — but have yet to reach consensus over whether tear gas and riot gear will be used or whether the protesters will get advance notice of when the grand jury will announce its decision regarding Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson.
The negotiations have centered on 19 “Rules of Engagement” proposed by a coalition of 50 community and civil rights groups in an effort to avoid the violent clashes that brought worldwide attention to Ferguson after the shooting of a black teenager in August.
The list is largely a docket of best police practices, such as “the first priority shall be preservation of human life” and “excessive force and other forms of police misconduct will not be tolerated.” In general, protesters have agreed to peaceful demonstrations if police don’t interfere, while police have agreed to respect demonstrators’ right to assemble as long as there is no violence.
Negotiations on Tuesday continued to stall, however, over seven of the proposals, including the coalition’s request to give protesters 48 hours’ notice prior to the grand jury announcement.
The three police departments — called the “unified command” for police response to protests — have also not agreed to the coalition’s request that police be dressed in minimal gear and that tear gas, tactical vehicles and rubber bullets not be used, a coalition leader said.