April 30, 2021


Teargas, flashbangs: the devastating toll of police tactics on Minnesota children (Lois Beckett, 30 Apr 2021, The Guardian)

Children can be especially vulnerable to teargas, because they have smaller lungs, tend to breathe more rapidly and are closer to the ground, where the irritating particles in teargas eventually settle, medical experts said.

"Teargas should absolutely not be used anywhere near children for any reason," said Irwin Redlener, the director of Columbia University's Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative, and a longtime children's health advocate. "It's completely inappropriate."

A wide range of doctors have condemned the US's use of teargas on children and families, including at the US-Mexico border in 2018. New research from Portland found that hundreds of people people reported serious, lasting health effects from being teargassed, including disruptions to their menstrual cycles, from intense cramps to abnormal bleeding. Because teargas was initially tested on young men in military settings, experts said, the full effects of the chemicals on a more diverse population are unknown. There is also little research on the long-term effects of teargas on children, Redlener said.

Several international treaties have banned the use of teargas during war.

The Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, a Democrat, initially defended the use of teargas in Brooklyn Center, saying it was important to prevent property damage, and that he trusted police to use it appropriately.

Residents of the Sterling Square Apartments, a complex across from the police department, said the reaction of law enforcement and national guard troops to the protests after Wright's death had traumatized their children and left kids and adults coughing and feeling sick from the exposure to teargas.

Ebonie McMillan, 36, who lives with her eight-year-old daughter and two-year old twins in an apartment directly facing the Brooklyn Center police station, said she had seen rubber bullets bouncing off her balcony.

The police think they are an occupying force in enemy territory. 
Posted by at April 30, 2021 12:00 AM