Fort Wayne denies liability in 94-page response to protest lawsuit

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The city of Fort Wayne has responded to a federal lawsuit over the treatment of protesters during days of demonstrations earlier this summer.

In more than 90 pages, the city denied any wrongdoing and said the use of force by Fort Wayne Police officers was reasonable.

The ACLU of Indiana is suing the City of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Sheriff for using tear gas and pepper spray on protesters during demonstrations in downtown Fort Wayne. The suit also alleges police blocked protesters from leaving the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge and then shot tear gas canisters, and prevented peaceful protesters from gathering on the Allen County Courthouse lawn and in other public places in Fort Wayne.

The lawsuit argues that the use of chemical agents and projectiles for crowd control violates the First and Fourth Amendments.

The city in its response said the pepper spray and tear gas was deployed to “clear rioters who were engaging in illegal conduct.” The city maintains no apology is warranted.

Attorneys for the city are seeking a jury trial.

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